Ernst Helmuth Flammer was born in Heilbronn, where he spent his childhood until 1961. From 1961 he attended the Birklehof boarding school in Hinterzarten (Black Forest), which he graduated from in 1969. After studying mathematics and physics from 1969-1972, he first turned to musicology with the subsidiary subjects art history and philosophy, followed a little later by music studies. From 1973-1979 he studied counterpoint and music theory with Peter Förtig and from 1972-1980 musicology with Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht in Freiburg, where he received his doctorate with a dissertation on the subject of politically engaged music as a compositional problem, illustrated by the examples of Luigi Nono and Hans Werner Henze. Since 1976 he has also studied composition with Klaus Huber and Brian Ferneyhough, and in the meantime also with Paul-Heinz Dittrich.
Since 1977 he has published in several journals on topics of New Music and aesthetic questions. From 1980 to 1981 he held a teaching position for music theory, counterpoint and musical form theory and analysis at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik Trossingen, and from 1982 to 1985 one at the University of Freiburg. Since 1980 Flammer has been a freelance musician, and since 1985 he has been a guest lecturer at the University of Newcastle, in Dresden, Gera, Odessa, Paris, St. Petersburg, at the Mozarteum Salzburg and regularly at the Darmstadt Summer Courses. In addition, there are regular guest lectures and radio broadcasts.
From 1985 to 1987 he had a consulting contract with the city of Mönchengladbach as artistic director of the local festival Ensemblia. 1985-1990 he was in charge of the ensemble recherche freiburg, which he helped to build up and which is primarily dedicated to the interpretation of new music. In 1993 he founded the International Piano Forum ...antasten... in Heilbronn, a worldwide unique festival for contemporary piano music, which took place every two years until 2003.
Ernst Helmuth Flammer has received numerous prizes and awards from Baden-Baden, Dresden, Freiburg, Hannover, Paris, Parma, Rome and Stuttgart. He has received numerous commissions for compositions at home and abroad. His works have been premiered at numerous festivals and produced by all domestic and numerous foreign radio stations.
In 1994 a portrait CD was released by WERGO, and in 2005 the world premiere recording of the extensive organ cycle superverso with Christoph Maria Moosmann was released on the label ORGANUM CLASSICS. From 2003 to 2012 Ernst Helmuth Flammer was a teacher of composition and musicology at the Carl Maria von Weber College of Music in Dresden.