© Hyou Vielz

The founder of the LOFT Hans Martin Müller was born in 1952 in Geldern in the Lower Rhine region. His musical career (fipple flute) started in YMCAs’ recorder group in Kamp-Lintfort. Lessons on the Western concert flute and the saxophone were soon to follow, but from the very beginning his interested lay in contemporary music, which at that time was Jazz, Rhythm&Blues and Soul. In 1967 he played in his first band alongside the founder of the New Jazz Festival Moers Burkard Hennen. Additional groups followed until his own group Schacht IV became iconic in Moers in the early 1970s. In 1971 he started to study mining after having completed a 1 ½ years practical underground in Aachen, but when after one semester he learned about the opening of a Jazz seminar in Cologne by Manfred Schoof and Peter Trunk, he decided to focus on music entirely for some time.

He soon moved to Cologne, where he lived just above the Jazz venue “Päff” for about 5 years. His particular talent however lay with classical music, since after being a music student for only about one year, he won the Cologne University award for flute in 1973. In early 1974 he became solo flutist of the Rheinische Philharmonie Koblenz and in November 1974 assistant solo flutist of the Symphony Orchestra of the Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), where he continued to work until his retirement in November 2014.
In 1977 he became a principal teacher for flute at the Kölner Musikhochschule, which lasted until 2002 and established his reputation as one of Germanys most successful flute educators.
For 8 years he was solo flutists at the Bayreuth Festival, he played in numerous chamber orchestras as a solo flutist or soloist and was a member of multiple different chamber music constellations such as the Consortium Classicum.

Hans-Martin Müller-fl. 08.05.2009 Köln Philharmonie Rheinische Romantik Photo: Hyou Vielz
Hans Martin Mülle 05/2009 Köln Philharmonie © Hyou Vielz

In addition to being a musician himself, being a member of the managing board of the WDR Symphyony orchestra, representative of the music professors and as a member of the WDR staff council, he always had a political view on music. He intensified this interest by further studies in “culture management”, and in 1996/97 spent a sabbatical in New York City and Paris, with the Loft representing the result.

Primarily, his enthusiasm for music in all its facets never left him, so one of the most active persons in Cologne’s free scene is man from the classical orchestra, and even that with full professionalism. He became an honorary member of the Kölner Gesellschaft für Neue Musik (KGNM) in 1998. Since December 2014 he is retired.

February 2015 the President of the Federal Republic of Germany honored him with the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for his honorary work.