Arnulf Herrmann was born in Heidelberg in 1968. After studying piano with Gernot Sieber in Munich he enrolled at the Dresden University of Music, where his teachers included Wilfried Krätzschmar (composition) and Arkadi Zenzipér (piano). In 19956 he was a pupil of Gérard Grisey and Emanuel Nunes at the Paris Conservatoire, after which he completed his training with Hartmut Fladt and Jörg Mainka (theory) and with Friedrich Goldmann, Gösta Neuwirth,
and Hanspeter Kyburz in Berlin. In 19992000 he received a post-graduate fellowship from the German Academic Exchange Service to attend a year-long course in composition and new technologies at IRCAM in Paris.
Herrmann works closely with some of the world’s leading contemporary music ensembles, including Ensemble Intercontemporain (he won its biannual Comité de Lecture in 2005), Klangforum Wien, and above all Ensemble Modern. His pieces are performed in Germany and abroad and can be heard at such major festivals as Donaueschingen, the Witten New Chamber Music Festival, Wien Modern, Ultraschall (Berlin), Eclat (Stuttgart), and Musica Strasbourg.
Herrmann has received a large number of awards and distinctions for his music, including the Hanns Eisler Composition Prize (2001), the Stuttgart Composition Prize (2003), and the International Rostrum of Composers (for Terzenseele, 2006). In 2008 he was awarded the composer’s grant from the State of Berlin’s Art Prize and was made a fellow of the Villa Massimo in Rome. In 2010 he received the composer's prize from the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation.
Herrmann teaches composition, analysis, and orchestration at the Academy of Music Hanns Eisler Berlin.