He is the son of composer Karlheinz Stockhausen. He was born in Cologne. At age four he appeared as "child at play" in his father's theatre piece Originals. He received his first piano lessons at age 6, and at age 12 he began to play the trumpet. He attended the music secondary school in Cologne.
From 1974 he studied at the Cologne Musikhochschule. He began on piano with Klaus Oldemeyer, then classical trumpet with R. Platt and jazz trumpet with Manfred Schoof, graduating in 1982. Further studies between 1978 and 1983 were with P. Thibaud, C. Caruso, T. Stevens and C. Groth. His jazz and classical débuts were in 1974 with the group „Key“ at the Newcomer Jazz Festival in Frankfurt and in 1976 in his father's Sirius at the Washington Bicentennial. In 1981 he was the winner of the German Music Competition.
Already in 1974 Markus began to cooperate intensively with his father. The trumpet parts of the following works were written for and premièred by him: Sirius 1975-77 (with Aries 1980); Thursday from Light 1978-81 (especially the major parts in Examination, Michael's Journey around the Earth, Dragon-Fight, Vision, and the Thursday Farewell); Saturday from Light (Upper-Lip-Dance, 1984); Tuesday from Light (Invasion, Pietà, 1990-91); Europa-Gruss (1992); Michaels-Ruf, version for four trumpets (1978/1994); Trumpetent (1995); In Freundschaft (version for trumpet, 1998). In addition, his father composed cadenzas to the trumpet concertos by Haydn and Leopold Mozart for him.
In addition to his activities as a soloist, he has played in and led various jazz ensembles, the quintet "Key" (1974-79), Rainer Brüninghaus Group (1980-84), Kairos (1985-90), Aparis (1989-96), various formations with the Chilean bass player Enrique Diaz (1989-), Possible Worlds (1995-). Partners today are Simon Stockhausen (keyboards, saxophone), Enrique Díaz, Arild Andersen (bass), Patrice Héral (percussion), the Hungarian guitar virtuoso Ferenc Snétberger, Antoine Hervé (piano), Angelo Comisso (piano) and Mark Nausseef (percussion), the pianist Fabrizio Ottaviucci and in the duo "Moving Sounds" he performs together with the Dutch clarinetist Tara Bouman, with whom he has lived and worked since the year 2000.
Concerts and Festival appearances, also for the Goethe Institute, have taken him around the world. His main interest as a trumpeter is improvised and contemporary music. In February 2003 he premiered Jetstream for trumpet and orchestra, which was written for him by Peter Eötvös, who also conducted the premiere in London with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. The classical repertoire he plays on request only. He increasingly performs his own music, also giving solo performances with intuitive music, often in churches.
As a composer he has, in close collaboration with his brother Simon, written several film and theatre scores and created two open-air spectacles for the 5th and 10th anniversaries of the Philharmonic Hall in Cologne, with 70.000 and 100.000 spectators respectively. Recently he composed "Choral" and "Sehnsucht" for jazz trio and orchestra. New works have been commissioned and performed by the London Sinfonietta and the Musikkollegium Winterthur.
An extensive discography documents his achievements (ECM, AKTIVRAUM, CMP, ACT, ENJA, Stockhausen-Verlag). From 1992 until 1998 he has been under contract with EMI Classics, which have produced "New Colours of Piccolo Trumpet" (1993), "Clown" "Jubilee" (1996) and "Stockhausen plays Stockhausen". His last releases are "Markus Stockhausen "Solo I", "Close to you", "Thinking About" and "Karta" (ECM).
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