Manfred Waffender, born 1952 in Alzey / Germany, attended universities in Frankfurt and Berlin. As a member of Inter-Action, a community arts project in North London, he worked with Prof. Dogg’s Troupe, a children’s theatre company and the Almost Free Theatre, a fringe theatre in London’s West End.
In the 60s and 70s he travelled extensively through Europe and South America.
In the late 70s, Manfred Waffender worked as a freelance journalist and wrote travel books about London and San Francisco. Living in California, he was a firsthand witness of the massive cultural changes left by the computer revolution. In the early 80s he became an editor for Rowohlt Pocketbook Publishing Company in Hamburg. At Rowohlt he co-published the ´anders reisen´ travel book series. His concept of ´rororo computer´ books turned into a successful pocketbook series. In 1984 he started to make documentaries (e.g. DIE KINDER VON APPLE, ATARI UND COMMODORE) and experimental TV-shows for NDR, a Northern German public TV-broadcaster (such as the thirteen episode TV-series HOECHSTE ZEIT).
During the mid 90s he developed ideas for shareware and computer books for Zweitausendeins Publishing Company (e.g. ´Copy Me!´ and ´24 Hours in the 21st Century´ by Peter Glaser). Simultaneously he wrote and directed TV-films, industrial films and commercials for production companies and TV-broadcasters (ZDF, Arte, 3sat).
His main interest at that time was music. He made films with the Kronos Quartet, with Steve Reich, Vladimir Tarasov, Toots Thielemanns, Maria João, Moscow Art Trio, Alexander von Schlippenbach and others. From 1995 on, he spent most of his work time as a freelance producer. In 1996 he spent three months in New Zealand to research and record sound and images for the 60 minutes documentary SONGS OF THE MAORI.
In 1998 and 1999 as editor-in-chief he was responsible for the bi-weekly inflight-video magazine ´Lufthansa´s World´ at Trebitsch Media.
In 2000 he followed conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner, the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists during a musical pilgrimage remembering Johann Sebastian Bach for the BBC. He documented a 12-months journey of Sunday performances of Bach’s church cantatas in multiple churches and cathedrals throughout Europe and New York City (BACH CANTATA PILGRIMAGE).
Concurrently he was involved into supporting young talent: For the SWR, a Southern German public TV-broadcaster, he wrote and directed the first 16 programs for musikdebut, a TV series featuring young classical musicians.
In 2001 the University of Music Duesseldorf called him to professorship of Dramatic Composition in Media. He is a co-founder of the Institute For Music And Media and served - between 2006 and 2009 - as Managing Director.
In 2007 he was invited by the Theatre and Film Studies Department of Canterbury University in Christchurch. He spent four months on New Zealand’s South Island, lecturing and working on his multi media installation PLACES_IN_TIME | lake>creek>ocean.
Manfred Waffender is married and has three children.