After studying piano with Gernot Sieber at the Richard Strauss Conservatorium Munich [de] he enrolled at the Musikhochschule Dresden, where he studied composition with Wilfried Krätzschmar and piano with Arkadi Zenzipér. In 1995/96 he was a pupil of Gérard Grisey and Emmanuel Nunes at the Conservatoire de Paris (CNSMDP), after which he completed his training with Hartmut Fladt and Jörg Mainka (theory) and with Friedrich Goldmann, Gösta Neuwirth, and Hanspeter Kyburz at the Universität der Künste Berlin. In 1999/2000 he attended a post-graduate course in composition and new technologies at IRCAM in Paris.

His awards include 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 Förderpreis Musik (of the Kunstpreis Berlin) and a scholarship to the Villa Massimo in Rome. In 2010 he received the Ernst von Siemens Composers' Prize. 

His first opera, Wasser, with words by Nico Bleutge, received its world premiere at the 2012 Munich Biennale in a co-production with Oper Frankfurt. An excerpt from it was performed at the 2011 Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik, with soprano Claron McFadden and tenor Sebastian Hübner, and the Ensemble Modern, led by Johannes Kalitzke. His second opera, Der Mieter, premiered in 2017 at the Opera Frankfurt, directed by Johannes Erath and conducted by Kazushi Ono.

Herrmann teaches composition, analysis, and orchestration at the Hochschule für Musik "Hanns Eisler", Berlin. In 2014, he succeeded Theo Brandmüller as professor of composition at the Hochschule für Musik in Saarbrücken.


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