Johannes Stert (b. 1963, Freiberg, Germany) is an internationally active German conductor and composer.
Stert began his musical education with lessons in piano, violin and trombone. In 1980, he won the First Prize of the German Government’s program, “The Young Make Music.” As a result, he earned a scholaship to the International Music Camp in Interlochen/USA. He was commended for “Excellence” for his conductor’s examination at the Cologne Conservatory
From 1995 to 2004 he was First Conductor at the Cologne (Germany) Opera and conducted a large repertoire, specializing in Mozart. From 2002 to 2006, he was Principal Guest Conductor at the Graz (Austria) Opera. While in Graz, he conducted a controversial production of Wagner's Parsifal, and Hans Werner Henze's Boulevard Solitude. In 2006, he conducted György Ligeti's bizarre and difficult opera, Le Grand Macabre.
In 2009-2012, he has conducted Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte at the Korean National Theater in Seoul, Mozart’s Don Giovanni at Lisbon's Teatro Nacional de São Carlos (where he is a frequent guest) and several opera and symphony performances in Magdeburg, Germany. Praised by Vienna's paper Die Presse, he also made his debut at the Danish Royal Opera, Copenhagen Opera House, in December 2009. He took the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos company on tour to China in early 2010, conducting operas and concerts in Macao, Hong Kong and Beijing.
Stert was Music Director of the Orchesterverein Hilgen until 2014, and has conducted such orchestras as the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne, the Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie, the Cracow Radio Orchestra, the WDR-Radio Orchestra (Stuttgart) and the Ensemble Avantgarde. As both composer and conductor, his many contemporary music projects have enabled him to work closely with well-known composers, such as Karlheinz Stockhausen, John Cage, Manfred Trojahn, Johannes Fritsch and Detlev Glanert. This has led to engagements with such contemporary music groups as the ensemble recherche and the Ensemble Köln. Hans Werner Henze has singled out Johannes Stert for special praise. He is also active in the recording studio, with works such as Karl Goldmark's complete opera Merlin in 2007; and the recently rediscovered Friedrich von Flotow Piano Concerti 1 and 2, with the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne in 2009.
His works as a composer include Ida, eine Traurige Humoreske for winds; the Engellieder, based on poems by Rilke, for soprano and orchestra (or piano); and the oratorio, Aus der Stille, for soprano, solo clarinet, chorus, orchestra and two actors.
Works for Winds
- Bachseits (2011)
- Ida, eine Traurige Humoreske
- Ida fährt Schlittschuh (2013)
- Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland (as arranger) (c. 1748/2013)
- Tableaux Sonores (2014)
- Wer ist Elise? (2018)