studied piano and music theory at the State University of Music and Performing Arts in Stuttgart, followed by composition with Manuel Hidalgo. In 1996 he taught music theory and composition as head of contemporary music department at Berlin’s music schools. In that period he also directed Klangwerkstatt, a contemporary music festival in Berlin. Skart ensemble, which he founded jointly with Stephan Winkler in 2000, presented concerts with intermedia. In 2007, Beil started teaching electronic music at the High School of Music and Dance in Cologne and became the director of its electronic music studio.
His music has been commissioned by contemporary music festivals such as Ultraschall in Berlin, Éclat in Stuttgart, and Wien Modern, and has been broadcast on radio stations such as RBB and SWR. He has received scholarships from Künstlerhaus Wiepersdorf, Cité des Arts in Paris, and the Heinrich Gartentor Scholarship for video art in un. He has participated in the Nachwuchsforum für Junge Komponisten organised by the Society for New Music in collaboration with Ensemble Modern.
Michael Beil’s work focuses on combining instrumental music, electronics, and video. His compositions are based on concepts related to the concert stage situations in connection with the process of developing a musical work. For that reason, the performers are usually involved in the compositional process and their participation is documented as part of the composition. is way, shaping the tempo and coherence of a musical work becomes perceivable and transparent to the audience. In order to achieve this, Beil employs prerecorded audio and video material. A further fundamental aim of his music is to question the artwork as masterpiece. Keeping that in mind, he uses solely musical readymades by transforming or deconstructing them and changing the context of popular musical material or of material that is idiomatic of certain instruments.
Works with pre-recorded audio/video: Nexus for two pianos (1995), Und Zehn ist keins for soprano and ensemble (1998), Und Neun ist Eins for soprano, saxophone, piano and percussion (1998), Und Acht for accordion (1999), Mach Sieben for piano (1999–2000), Und Sechs for ensemble (2000), Aus Eins Mach Zehn for orchestra (2001), Aus Fünf for ensemble (2001), Batterie for percussion (2003), Die Zwei for flute and piano (2004), Beleuchterfor flute, violin and cello (2004), Verlier die Vier for percussion and piano (2006), Und Acht for accordion (2006), Karaoke for saxophone, piano and percussion (2006), Rebranng! for flute, violin, viola and cello (2008), Doppel for two pianos, electronics and layer (2009–13), belle nuit for soprano, violin, viola and cello (2009), alongfor electric guitar (2010), Blackjack for ensemble (2012), wie jetzt? for flute and ensemble (2012, concert version), exit to enter for ensemble (2013), swap for flute, oboe, and clarinet (2014), Blu for ensemble (2015), sugar water for ensemble (2015), String Jack for cello (2016), Key Jack for pianist without piano (2017), caravan for four musicians without instruments (2017), transit for five singers and instruments (2018), Mimikry for 4 MIDI saxophones (2020), Hide to Show for ensemble (2020).
Instrumental and vocal works: Grat for viola and chamber orchestra (1995), Die Drei for six singers (2002), twisted for orchestra, two choirs and girls’ choir (2006).
Music theatre: Branng! for countertenor, narrator and actress with prerecorded audio (2005), Mahlzeit Provokation for two sopranos and three actors with prerecorded audio (2010), wie jetzt? for two actors and ensemble with prerecorded audio and video (2011), blinded for countertenor, boy soprano, narrator and string quartet with prerecorded audio (2011).