Volker Straebel is a musicologist, composer, and curator. He grew up in Berlin (West), Germany, and received his M.A. in musicology, philosophy, and library studies from the Technical University of Berlin. After a career in music journalism, he served as a curatorial advisor to the annual large-scale music festival MaerzMusik (Berliner Festspiele, 2002-14).
In 2009, Straebel was appointed Director of the Electronic Music Studio at the Technical University Berlin. In 2015, he became the Director of the inter-disciplinary Master program Sound Studies and Sonic Arts at the University of the Arts Berlin (UdK), a program that he fundamentally reformed and shaped. Since 2021, he serves as the Dean of the Herb Alpert School of Music at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).
Straebel’s academic work, which focuses on experimental music and sound art, and his artistic practice and curatorial pursuits are interwoven and complement each other. His compositions and performances range from amplified jackstraws to inaudible infrasonic pieces. He has also realized, staged, and performed indeterminate works by John Cage and others.