Ranta, Michael


Born 1942 in Minnesota, USA. Music studies at the University of Illinois – percussion with J. McKenzie and T. Siwe, composition with L. Hiller and H. Brün. Additional percussion studies with R. Horowitz, Metropolitan Opera, NYC. Performed and recorded in all Harry Partch productions, 1960-1968, and was Partch’s studio-assistant in California, 1964-65. Taught at the Interlochen Arts Academy, Michigan, USA, and played in various American orchestras: New Orleans Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony, Santa Fe Opera, Chicago Little Symphony.


1967-70: lived in West Germany, working with Kagel, Lachenmann, Riedl, Stockhausen. Soloist with HR and SFB orchestras as well as many solo recitals at festivals throughout Europe. 1970: performances of Stockhausen’s works in German pavilion at EXPO 70, Osaka. 1971: worked in electronic music at the studio of NHK, Tokyo. 1972: designed and composed music for multi-media environment room at the Munich Olympics. 


1973-79: lived in Taiwan, lecturer in music history and percussion at various music colleges in Taipei. 1978: professor of music at the Hwa-Gang Fine Arts high school in Taipei. Concerts, lectures and recordings at many cities in East Asia; collaborations with Ichiyanagi and Takemitsu in Japan.


1979: returned to Cologne and formed the percussion group TRANSIT – organized concerts at Darmstadt Ferienkurse, 1980. 1982-83: performances of chamber works at Brüssels ISCM and Witten festival. 1989: ballet commission for the Ulm Opera “Die Mauer”, and music for the documentary film “Tibet – gate to heaven”.


1980-94: performed “Yo-in” and “Anâhata” by J-C Eloy at “Sigma” festival (Bordeaux); Paris “Musique en Théâtre” (Palais de Tokyo); Avignon (Theatre festival); Cologne percussion festival (“Muzik der Zeit”); Liège Wallonie Festival (“Orient-Occident”); Holland Festival (Amsterdam, “Nieuwe Kerk”); “Inventionen” (Berlin); “Expo 85” (Tsukuba); “Musica” (Strasbourg); Festival d’Automne in Paris; Donaueschingen Festival; Warsaw Autumn. 


1998: solo performances in the Cologne Cathedral in celebration of the 750th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone.