Norbert Ommer studied piano and clarinet in Cologne followed by studies of music and telecommunication engineering at the Robert Schumann Hochschule in Düsseldorf where he graduated as image and sound engineer.

Already during his studies, he worked as a freelance radio and television sound engineer.

Starting in 1990 to this day, a regular co-operation began with the Ensemble Modern as director of sound - becoming shareholder in 1997 - and at the same time with the WDR (West Deutscher Rundfunk) Big Band and since 2014 with HR ( Hessischer Rundfunk )
HR Big Band and symphony orchestra.

Internationally he became known for his work as sound designer and director of sound for world premiers of pieces by Frank Zappa ("The Yellow Shark", "Greggory Pecary & other persuasions"), Heiner Goebbels ("Surrogate Cities", "Schwarz auf Weiss", "Industry and Idleness", "Eislermaterial", "Walden" and "Landschaft mit entfernten Verwandten"), Steve Reich ("Proverb", "City Life" , "Three Tales", “You are“, “The Cave“), Michael Brecker “Some Skunk Funk“, Patti Austin “Avant Gershwin“, Joe Zawinul “Brown Street“, Michael Gordon ("Decasia", "Shelter") and Ryuichi Sakamoto & Carsten Nicolai (“utp“), Helmut Lachenmann & Robert Wilson “Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern“, Louis Andriessen "De Materie"

In November 2002 Norbert Ommer was awarded the “Golden Bobby”. For the first time, this price was awarded by the VDT (Verband Deutscher Tonmeister) for outstanding accomplishments in sound design and sound direction.

In October 2004 he received the Echo Klassik award together with the Ensemble Modern.

In February 2024, he will be awarded the Opus AVantgarde of Prolight + Sound.

Early 2003 he began working with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Sir Simon Rattle, a collaboration that continues until today.

Also in December 2003 he began his work as lecturer for sound directing at the International Ensemble Modern Academy and Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt am Main and is conducting seminars for sound design in Tokyo for Tokyo Wonder Site and in Schwaz/Innsbruck for Klangspuren ever since 2005.
Starting with the summer semester 2019 he is teaching at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin.

Norbert Ommer is contributing to numerous international festivals, like Wien Modern, Bregenz Festspiele, Festival d' Automne á Paris, Ars Musica Brüssel, Holland Festival, Salzburger Festspiele, BBC Proms, Donaueschinger Musiktage, Montreux Jazzfestival, Edinburgh International Festival, Lincoln Center Festival, North Sea Jazzfestival Amsterdam, Telstra Adelaide Festival, Park Avenue Armory New York and many others.