Was born in Vienna in 1956.
He studied piano with Bruno Seidlhofer and composition with Roman Haubenstock-Ramati.
The start of his career in contemporary music was marked by the première of the 1st string quartet at Wiener Konzerthaus in 1976. Already in the early 1980s he had widened the narrow sphere of interest of the classical avant-garde. At a time when the term ´crossover´ was not yet known he worked with elements of folk music and jazz just as he used electronics to enlarge the possibilities of composition.
In the 90s he started developing his own form of music theatre, known as Klangtheater: "When Thomas Pernes speaks about sound theater as representation or reproduction of reality, one should think not only superficially of the everyday elements such as sound, fragments of conversation, thought, and quotation that are built into the montage. It is rather and above all the unity that arises paradoxically from disparate and divergent elements and their individual motions that corresponds in its dialectical structure to reality. As Hegel says about reality and truth, so too is the sound theater the Baccahanalisn revel in which no member is not drunk."
Thomas Pernes has had performances and commissions at: Donaueschinger Musiktage, ISCM World Music Days in Jerusalem, Daiichiseimei Hall / Tokyo, IRCAM / Paris, Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts / Washington, Pan Music Festival / Seoul, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Europäisches Musikfest Stuttgart, Holland Festival / Amsterdam, Biennale/ Venice, Musikprotokolle im steirischen herbst, Wiener Staatsoper, Internationales Bucknerfest Linz, ars electronica, Wiener Festwochen, Wiener Musikverein amongst others.