Mauricio Kagel (1931-2008) was a composer, film-maker, radio-playwright, conductor and teacher. He studied piano, theory, violoncello, organ, singing and conducting privately in his hometown Buenos Aires and was self-taught as a composer. Kagel also studied philosophy and literature extensively during his college years and subsequently worked in film and as a choir director and accompanist. He published his first compositions in the early 1950s.
In 1957 he moved with his wife, the artist and sculptor Ursula Burghardt (1928-2008) to Cologne where he started to focus on instrumental theatre. In the 1960s he developed experimental, instrumental-theatrical works with the Cologne Ensemble for New Music. The 'Zwei-Mann-Orchester' was the conclusion of this phase. Kagel's further work encompasses all manner of vocal and instrumental genres from solo works to oratorios.