A highly prolific composer, Rihm is associated with the Neue Einfachheit (New Simplicity), a reactionary movement against postwar avant-garde music that flourished during the late 1970s and early 1980s in Germany. Its proponents favor compositional spontaneity and immediacy over preparation, aiming to communicate more directly with listeners.
Born in 1952, Rihm studied with Eugen Werner Velte in Karlsruhe, attended the Darmstadt Summer Music School and later worked with Stockhausen, Klaus Huber and Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht.
He has written mostly vocal and instrumental compositions, and has produced significant stage works drawn from literature, such as the chamber opera Jakob Lenz set to the story by Georg B‹chner and Michael Fr‹hling.
Rihm's later influences include Wilhelm Killmayer, Helmut Lachenmann and Luigi Nono. He has been quoted as thinking music to be a "a systolic motion in time, a contracting and relaxing and breathing."
Other works to be performed at the premiere of Rihm's Transportation 2 include Reinecke's Flute Concerto (with soloist Jeffrey Khaner) and Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring.