»(...) An exceptional conductor one should keep an eye on (...)«
(Alviano Salvago, DER OPERNFREUND, 29.01.2018)

Johannes Witt, born in 1985 in Hamburg, grew up in Toronto and Cologne, discovered his passion for music and conducting as a member of the youth symphony orchestra:

»To experience the strong connection that collective music making can lead to and to feel the existential force of music in a symphony orchestra up close, deeply impressed me. This is how I developed the desire to create and shape this "force" and to make it tangible to others. «

at Aalto Theater Essen

Johannes Witt is permanent conductor at the Aalto Theater in Essen. Here he has conducted new productions and revivals of »The Magic Flute«, »The Csárdásfürstin«, »Il Barbiere di Siviglia«, »Norma«, »The land of Smiles«, »The Bartered Bride«, »Hansel and Gretel«, »Così fan tutte«, »Il Trovatore«, »The Bat«, »Cain, overo il primo omicidio«, »Orfeo ed Euridice« as well as the ballets »Romeo and Juliet«, »Nutcracker«, »Giselle«, »Sleeping Beauty« and »Carmen / Bolero«.

In the 2018/19 season he conducted the Aalto Theater premiere of »Onegin« and in the 2017/18 season the premieres of »Swan Lake« and »A Night in Venice«, all highly praised by press and audience alike.


In the 2018/19 season guest engagements led Johannes Witt to the Nationaltheater Mannheim (»Don Giovanni«), in the 2017/18 season to the Bonn Opera House (»Madama Butterfly«) as well as to the Staatstheater Kassel (»The Merry Wives of Windsor«). In the season of 2016/17 he was a guest at the Pfalztheater Kaiserslautern, where he conducted the German premiere of the chamber opera »Heart Sutra« by Christian Jost and the monodrama »The Raven« by Toshio Hosakawa. In 2016 Johannes Witt conducted the premiere of Prokofiev's »Romeo and Juliet« at the Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville, with the Real Orquesta Sinfónica de Sevilla.


Johannes Witt has worked with orchestras such as the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, the Essen Philharmonic, the Duisburg Philharmonic, the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, the Folkwang Chamber Orchestra, the Staatsorchester Kassel, the Orchestra of the Nationaltheater Mannheim, the Bergische Symphoniker, the Philharmonie Südwestfalen and the Real Orquesta Sinfónica de Sevilla.


Johannes Witt began his professional career as a coach at the Staatstheater Darmstadt. In 2012 Stefan Soltész brought him to the Aalto Theater Essen as a coach and conductor. Here he worked closely with Stefan Soltész as his assistant in productions of »Pelléas et Mélisande«, »Ariadne auf Naxos« and »Parsifal«. He also assisted conductors such as Tomáš Netopil, Friedrich Haider, Martyn Brabbins, Dima Slobodeniouk, Giuliano Carella and Will Humburg, the latter at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo.


Johannes Witt completed his studies at the Musikhochschule Köln with Professor Michael Luig and in St. Petersburg with Loenid Korchmar from the Rimsky Korsakov Conservatory in St. Petersburg.
From 2007-2009 he was scholar of the »Dirigentenforum«, taking part in Masterclasses with Eri Klas, Bernhard Kontarsky, Marko Letonja and Georg Fritzsch.


Aalto Theater Essen • 2020

»(...)Musically and dramaturgically, the staging and cast (...) are at an excellent level. (...)the Essen Philharmonic Orchestra under the experienced direction of Johannes Witt is outstanding.(...)«

(Juan Carlos Tellechea, MUNDOCLASSICO, 09.01.2020)

Aalto Theater Essen • 2018

»(...) With the Essen Philharmonic, the young conductor Johannes Witt knows how to light the embers of the dramatic passages in the flowing transitions of the arrangement (...)«

(Bernd Aulich, RECKLINGHAUSER ZEITUNG, 12.11.2018)

»(...) The luminous orchestral arrangements are in very good hands with Johannes Witt and the Essen Philharmonic Orchestra. (...)«

(Pedro Obiera, O-TON, 15.11.2018)

Aalto Theater Essen • 2018

»(...) Conductor Johannes Witt knows how to elicit Viennese wonders from the Essen Philharmonic Orchestra and can demonstrate the hit quality of every piece of music (...)«

(Annika Meyer, LITERATUR UND FEUILLETON, 07.06.2018)

»(...) Musically, the performance is on a good level. Johannes Witt and the Essen Philharmonic Orchestra conjure up a veritable waltz from the orchestra pit and demonstrate that Strauss rightfully deserves the title "King of Waltz". (...)«

(Thomas Molke, ONLINE MUSIK MAGAZIN, 07.06.2018)

»(...) The lively opera choir and the lively but also warm-hearted Essen Philharmonic Orchestra under Johannes Witt make happiness perfect. (...)«

(Klaus Stübler, RUHRNACHRICHTEN, 04.06.2018)

Aalto Theater Essen • 2018

»(...) The salt in the soup is the Essen Philharmonic Orchestra. With Johannes Witt, they ignite a suggestively glowing Tchaikovsky sound that remains in ones ear for a long time after leaving the opera house. (...)«

(Michael-Georg Müller, WAZ/NRZ KULTUR, 28.01.2018)

»(...) Last but not least, there is a special praise from the critic (which was also confirmed at the end by the audience's sudden standing ovations) for the highly talented man on the podium of the Essen Philharmonic Orchestra, namely Johannes Witt, who, like in the » Nutcracker «, entertained superbly with a rubato-full interpretation of Tchaikovsky. An exceptional conductor who one should keep an eye on (...)«

(Alviano Salvago, DER OPERNFREUND, 29.01.2018)

»(...) The Essen Philharmonic play musically inspired by Johannes Witt (...)«

(Frank Blum, LOKALKOMPASS.DE, 29.01.2018)

»(...) The more than 100 years old choreography of Petipa seems a little slow to us today. And Johannes Witt did not drive the Essen Philharmonic to fast tempi. What you heard were big, round Tchaikovsky sounds, fluid and sweet. (...)«

(Julia Gass, RUHRNACHRICHTEN, 28.01.1018)

»(...) Under the direction of Johannes Witt, the Essen Philharmonic Orchestra plays a supple Tchaikovsky, often held back in favor of precision, with dramatic power, where necessary. (...)«

(Edda Breski, WA.DE, 29.01.2018)


  • Orfeo/Euridice


    Aalto Theater Essen
  • Orfeo/Euridice


    Aalto Theater Essen
  • Orfeo/Euridice


    Aalto Theater Essen
  • Bach, Copland, Korngold -cancelled-


    Landesjugendorchester Hamburg, Laeiszhalle Hamburg
  • Die Fledermaus


    Aalto Theater Essen


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Theateragentur Niell Thornborrow


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