Johannes Kalitzke
Instrument: piano

© Johannes Kalitzke

Kalitzke Johannes

General Information

Year of Birth:  1959
Date of Birth:  12. September 1959
Place of Birth:  Cologne
Country of Birth: 


Johannes Kalitzke (born 1959) "is, as composer and conductor, one of the most influential personalities of the contemporary music scene. The fact that his music can be described as the sum of the music-historical experience from the Ars nova until today, is due to this double function he plays. He also draws from a wide pool of philosophical and literary knowledge that he, not only in his music theater works, repeatedly uses to place his music in a contemporary social and cultural-historical discourse." This is from the introductory text of a book published by Peacock Verlag (Transitions. The composer and conductor Johannes Kalitzke ed. by Stefan Drees and Frieder Reininghaus). The publication casts "light on this perspective rich, pluralistic spirit and his multifaceted oeuvre" and includes texts by Josef Häusler, Kalitzke, Lothar Knessl, Hartmut Lück and Jens Schubbe .


PeriodEducationInstrumentTeacherEducation OrganisationLocation
1967 - 1977

lessons with Jeanette Chéro

1974 - 1976

sacred music

1978 - 1981

lessons with Alois Kontarsky

1978 - 1981

conducting (Wolfgang von Nahmer)

1978 - 1981

composition (York Höller)

1982 - 1983

visiting scholar (Vinko Globokar) with a scholarship by Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes

1982 - 1983

electronic music (Hans Ulrich Humpert)


1984 - 1990

director of music at the "Musiktheater im Revier" Gelsenkirchen, since 1988 chief conductor


ever since artistic director and conductor of "Musikfabrik" (the state ensemble of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia)


ever since various teaching-assignments, a.o. director of the ensemble-forum at the International Summer School for Contemporary Music Darmstadt, regularly heading the conductor-forum on ensemble-music at German Music Council, seminars on ensemble-work at Folkwanghochschule Essen and at Hannover, classes on conducting at the International Summer Academy Mozarteum Salzburg etc.


ever since professor of conducting

regular engagements as guest-conductor with various ensembles (Klangforum Wien, Collegium Novum, Ensemble Recherche) and symphony-orchestras, a.o. those of NDR, BBC, SWR and the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra etc.

opera-productions, a.o. at the State Opera Unter den Linden, Opera Stuttgart, Wiener Festwochen, Munich Biennale and Salzburg Festival etc.

tours to Russia, Japan and North America as well as numerous CD-recordings

Performances (Selection)


"Bericht über den Tod des Musikers Jack Tiergarten"; premiere


opera "Molière oder Die Henker der Komödianten"; premiere


"Inferno" - opera based on the same-titled play by Peter Weis; premiere


"Die Besessenen" - opera based on the novel "Die Besessenen" by W. Gombrowicz; premiere

Commissions (Selection)

PeriodCommissionCompositionCommissioner (Organisation)Commissioner (Person)

opera "Molière oder Die Henker der Komödianten" commissioned by the German State of Schleswig-Holstein; premiere in 1998 at the Opera Piccola Bremen


"Inferno" - opera based on the same-titled play by Peter Weis; premiere in 2005 at the Opera Piccola Bremen


"Die Besessenen" - opera based on the novel "Die Besessenen" by W. Gombrowicz; premiere in 2010


symphonic music for the silent-movie "Die Weber" (1927)

several commissions for the Donaueschingen Music Days and the Witten Days for New Chamber Music as well as for numerous broadcasting-orchestras


PeriodAwardCompositionAwarding Organisation

Johann-Wenzel-Stamitz-Award of the Artists Guild Esslingen




scholarship at Villa Massimo, Rome


got awarded the membership


got awarded the membership of the Bavarian Academy of Arts at Munich

Recording Performer of (Composition)

Broadcasting Performer of (Composition)