Wolfgang Mitterer studied with Otto Bruckner in Graz in 1977. Subsequently, from 1978 to 1983, he perfected his organ studies with Herbert Tachezi and composition with Heinrich Gattermeyer at the music department of the University of Vienna. In 1983 he went to Stockholm to work at the EMS electroacoustic music studio.
He received several scholarships for musical projects carried out in Rome in 1988 and in Berlin from 1995 to 1996. In 1991 Mitterer founded the Olongapo label.
Mitterer is considered one of the most important contemporary Austrian composers and a pioneer in the field of electroacoustic music. He is active as an improviser, composer and experimenter of electronic music. He currently works together with other artists, often with international improvisation groups and jazz musicians such as Wolfgang Puschnig, Wolfgang Reisinger, Linda Sharrock, Klaus Dickbauer, Sainkho Namtchylak, Tscho Theissing, Tom Cora, Ernst Reijseger, Hozan Yamamoto, Roscoe Mitchell, George Breinschmid, David Liebman, David Moss, Max Nagl, Achim Tang, Patrick Pulsinger, Christof Kurzmann, Christian Fennesz, Marc Ducret, Franz Koglmann, Louis Sclavis, Harry Pepl.
As an organist, Mitterer interprets works from the repertoire ranging from Bach to Messiaen and Ligeti. Alongside sound installations and numerous electronic collages Wolfgang Mitterer has also written chamber music, scenic works, operas, a concert for piano and music for orchestra and organ. In addition, he has worked for experimental films, radio plays and theaters. He has written live accompaniments for silent films.
Wolfgang Mitterer has lectured at the Vienna University of Music the Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music.