Bernd Sippel


Bernd Sippel began playing the piano at the age of five. In high school he composed music for the school's theatre-group, as well as creating ensembles in Jazz, Pop and classical music, specifically for a small chamber-ensemble.

Bernd went on to study music at the University of Kassel, in Germany. Specializing in piano with Dr. Kevin Richmond, now at the University of Memphis, chant with Walker Wyatt, and saxophone with Matthias Köhler, now in Würzburg. During his university years he played in different ensembles for popular and classical music, and played piano and saxophone in the Ensemble for new music under direction of Prof. Reinhard Karger. He also worked there as a co-repititor and directed in this time a chamber orchestra. He continues to play the basso continuo in the same ensemble until today.   In the course of these years he started composing music for film, beginning with young directors of the School for Television and Film in Munich (HFF Munich), Germany. He also composed music and created sound scapes for filmmakers and installation video artists at the School of Arts in Kassel (HbK Kassel).

He composed his first Ballet music for the opening ceremony of the world-championship in dance in 1994. For the supporting program of the Documenta X 1997, in Kassel, he composed the music for a dance-theatre-piece under direction of Dr. Ulla Ellermann. After this work he wrote music for dance for children and composed the music for a dance-book for children about the circus. His last work in this direction was composing music for a dance-book for children in 2007 about the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm.

For the past 15 years Bernd has composed music for various art forms, including film, video installations and dance. His chief creative focus is on film music, but is developing a new passion for dance composition. Bernd is inspired by all art forms and enjoys how his ideas of listening are modified, challenged and re-focused by different environments. From these many inspirational avenues, he gains, most importantly, new insights into composing.

The score for UNION, a ballet made for the contemporary dance company, BalletX, is his first compositional collaboration with choreographer, Helen Pickett.

Currently Bernd is working on a soundtrack for a new book about dance-training. It will include some previous works as well as new compositions for the dance syllabus. This book is now on the shelves.