Johannes Kalitzke

Musical Director

Born in Cologne in 1959, Mr. Kalitzke is a much sought after conductor who originally studied church music in Koln (1974-1976). Thereafter he studied the piano with Aloys Kontarsky at the Musikhochschule in Koln from 1978 – 1981, conducting with Wolfgang von der Nahmer, and composition with York Holler.

He continued to study at IRCAM from 1982-1983, on a scholarship from the Studienstiftung des Deustchen Volkes, and also studied composition privately with Vinko Globokar whilst in Paris, and electronic music with Hans Ulrich Humpert at the Musikhochschule Koln at the same time.

Amongst his prizes are the Bernd-Alois-Zimmer-Preis from the city of Cologne in 1996, and a scholarship to stay at the Villa Massimo in Rome (2003). Numerous ensembles and orchestras have commissioned him, including the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Hamburger Sinforniker, The London Sinfonietta, and the SWF-Sinfonieorchester. His music theatre work ‘Bericht uber den Tod des Musikers Jack Tiergarten’ was a commission from the Muchener Biennale, whilst hi opera ‘Moliere oder die Henker des Komodianten’ was a commission from the region of Schleswig-Holstein.

He is particularly renowned for conducting contemporary repertoire for Mr. Kalitze conducting and composing have become two mutually dependant entities, a process that he feels to be ‘an extremely constructive force’. A conductor since 1984, Mr. Kalitzke is renowned for his interpretations of both classical and new music with ensembles such as Collegium Nocum Zurich, Ensemble Recherche, Klangforum Wien, Musikfabrik, and not to mention various orchestras in Austria, Germany and the United Kingdom. He served as leader of the Forum fur Neue Musik in Gelsenkirchen from 1986-1991 and as conductor of the Musiktheater im Revier (also in Gelsenkirchen) from 1988-1990. Musikfabrik holds a uniqueness for Mr. Kalitzke as he himself co-founded, conducted from 1991-1997, as well as served as its artistic director. He has also served as chief guest conductor of the Osterreichisches Ensemble fur Neue Musik since 2001. He led the forums for ensemble conducting of the Deutscher Musikrat in 2001 and at the Salzburger Sommerakademie in 2003.

Kalitzke’s modern language of sound is intense yet surprisingly accessible as he integrates live experience into his music. His compositions are mostly of orchestral, chamber, choral and vocal works which have been performed widely in Europe. Edition Gravis published his music from 1982-2000, whilst Boosey and Hawkes is his publisher now.