Born in 1959 in Cologne, Johannes Kalitzke studied church music there from 1974 to 1976. After graduation from high school, he studied piano with Aloys Kontarsky, conducting with Wolfgang von der Nahmer and composition with York Höller at the Cologne Musikhochschule. A scholarship of the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes enabled him to study at IRCAM in Paris, where he was a student of Vinko Globokar. During the same period of time he also studied electronic music with Hans Ulrich Humpert in Cologne. His first conducting engagement in 1984 led Kalitzke to the “Musiktheater im Revier” in Gelsenkirchen, where he was principal conductor between 1988 and 1990. While there he became the director of the “Forum for New Music” in 1986, succeeding Carla Henius. In 1991 he became the artistic director and conductor of Musikfabrik in Nordrhein-Westfalen, whose co-founder he was. Since then he has been regularly active as a guest conductor of the ensembles Klangforum Wien, Collegium Novum, Ensemble Recherché and of numerous symphony orchestras, inclu-ding the orchestras of the Norddeutscher Rundfunk, the BBC, the Südwestrundfunk and the Mitteldeutscher Runk. In addition, he was also in charge of opera productions in Leipzig, at the Stuttgart Opera, the Vienna Festwochen, the Munich Biennale and the Salzburg Festivals. Other activities as a performer of classical and contemporary music include tours to Russia, Japan and America as well as numerous CD recordings.
As a composer, Kalitzke received many awards, including the Bernd-Alois Zimmermann-Prize of the city of Cologne, and he scored successes with performances of his music by ensembles such as the London Sinfonietta, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Klangforum Wien, Musik der Jahrhunderte; in the following years he received commissions from the symphony orchestra of the Südwestfunk (Donaueschingen), the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, and the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin. His first music theater piece The Report on the Death of the Musician Jack Tiergarten was a contribution to the Munich Biennale 1996. His second opera Molière or the Hangmen of the Comedian, a commission from Schleswig-Holstein, was premiered in Bremen in 1998. He received a fellowship to stay at the Villa Massimo in Rome for the year 2003.
His teaching activities include seminars for ensembles at the Folkwanghochschule in Duisburg and at the Landesakademie Heek (conducting courses on the direction of ensembles). Since 1995 he has been directing the ensemble forum of the Darmstadt Summer Courses. In 2001 he was the director of the conducting forum for ensemble music of the Deutsche Musikrat, and he was also a guest lecturer for ensemble music at the Aveiro University. In 2003 he gave a course on conducting at the Summer Academy in Salzburg.
Chaya Czernowin: MAIM (mode 219)
Chaya Czernowin: Shu Hai Practices Javelin (mode 117)
Giacinto Scelsi: The Orchestral Works 2 (mode 176)
Stefan Wolpe: Wolpe in Jerusalem (mode 156)
Iannis Xenakis: Music for Strings (mode 152)