Bertold Hummel was born November 27, 1925 in Hüfingen (Baden). He studied at the Academy of Music in Freiburg from 1947 to 1954, taking composition with Harald Genzmer, and cello with Atis Teichmanis. He toured as a cellist and composer between 1954 and 1956, worked as a choirmaster in Freiburg, as well as for the Südwestrundfunk Baden-Baden broadcasting station from 1956 to 1963. He became a teacher of composition at Würzburg in 1963 where he directed the Studio for New Music for the next 25 years.
After becoming a professor in 1974, he was president of the Würzburg College of Music from 1979 to 1987 (and was an honorary president after 1988), and in 1982 he became a member of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts. Hummel traveled as a guest lecturer and received performances of his work in countries all over the world. He died August 9, 2002, in Würzburg.