Dieter Mack was born in 1954 in Speyer. After getting his first taste of music with experimental rock music and jazz, he studied composition (Huber, Ferneyhough), piano and music theory at the University for Music in Freiburg. Since 1980, he has held various lectureships in music theory and Balinese music in Freiburg, Trossingen and Basel. In 1986 he became professor for music theory in Freiburg, and he has been professor for composition at the University for Music in Lübeck since 2003. From 1977 until 1981 he was an assistant at the Experimentalstudio of the Heinrich-Strobel-Stiftung of the SWR radio (in 1981 he also became a fellow), and in 1980 he joined the Stuttgart-based ensemble ExVoCo. Numerous study visits have taken him to India, Japan and above all Indonesia since 1978. After a one-year research stay in Bali (1981/82), he founded his own gamelan group Anggur Jaya in Freiburg. The group performed in Bali in 1998. He began his teaching career in Indonesia in 1988 because of a concert tour of South East Asia at that time and, from 1992 until 1995, he was a DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) long-term lecturer at UPI-Bandung and also a member of the national curriculum commission of Indonesia. From 1996 until 2007 he was a consultant for an educational and ethno-musicological research project at UPI-Bandung, financed by the Ford Foundation. He has been a guest professor in the postgraduate composition program at the art academy ISI Surakarta since 2000 until 2006. He was a member and later the head of the musicians selection committee at the DAAD from 2007-2019, and from 2009-2016 head of the music advisory board of the Goethe Institute. Alongside Indonesia, he has worked as a guest lecturer in the US, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Malaysia and China. As a composer, he devotes his time to chamber music, with bigger ensembles in particular. As an author, he publishes mainly on intercultural issues in music.