mathias spahlinger was born in frankfurt in 1944. his father was a cellist. from 1951, he received lessons from his father in fiddle, viola, recorder and later, violoncello. he began piano lessons in 1952. from 1959 spahlinger developed an intense interest in jazz, took saxophone classes and wanted to be a jazz musician. in 1962 he left school and began an apprenticeship as a typesetter. during the apprenticeship he took private classes in composition with konrad lechner. after completing his apprenticeship he continued his studies with lechner at the städtischen akademie für tonkunst (state academy of music) in darmstadt (piano classes with werner hoppstock). in 1968 he took up a teaching position at the stuttgart musikschule (music school), teaching piano, theory, musical education for children and experimental music. from 1973-1977 he studied composition with erhard karkoschka at stuttgart’s staatliche hochschule für musik und darstellende kunst (state academy of music and performing arts.) in 1978 he became guest lecturer in music theory at the hochschule der künste (arts university) in berlin, and in 1984 professor for composition and music theory at the staatliche hochschule für musik (state academy of music) in karlsruhe. from 1990 to 2009 he held the position of professor of composition and head of the institute for new music at the staatliche hochschule für musik (state academy of music) in freiburg. he currently lives in potsdam near berlin.