Jan Wilke is in increasing demand both as a conductor and a composer primarily of choral music. He is a recent graduate of the University of Birmingham, where he studied with the world renowned conductor Simon Halsey and received a Master of Arts in Choral Conducting. There he conducts the Chamber Choir and is Assistant Conductor of Birmingham University Singers and the University Women's Choir.
He holds degrees in church music, school music and music theory from the music conservatories of Mannheim and Heidelberg in his native country Germany and completed his studies with distinction in both organ playing and choral conducting. He was musical director of Kammerchor Altrip (2009-2013) and of several church and community choirs as well as Assistant Conductor and accompanist of Anglistenchor Heidelberg and Konzertchor Darmstadt. During his time in Birmingham he conducted the UMS Chamber Choir and was Assistant Conductor of Birmingham University Singers and the University Women's Choir. He participated in masterclasses with Simon Carrington, Daniel Reuss and Morten Schuldt-Jensen.
He has been awarded several prizes for his choral music. In 2014 he was Winner of the Meistersingers Knapp Award for Choral Excellence and finalist in the Little Singers of Armenia composition competition. In 2013 he was awarded the first prize in the composition competition of the choral conference chor.com, Dortmund. In 2012 he was awarded a prize in the composition competition "gott wagen" of the Protestant Church in Baden. His compositions have been performed in Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Armenia, Portugal and the USA.
He is very interested in music for silent films and wrote several scores for live accompaniment for choir and instrumental ensemble on commission of the International Silent Film Festival in Heidelberg. In 2013 he was commissioned by the children's and youth chorus of the music conservatory Hannover to write accompaniments for silhoutte films by Lotte Reiniger for children's chorus and instruments. He regularly gives performances accompanying silents with improvisation on the organ or the piano.
Jan Wilke currently lives as a freelance composer and conductor in Heidelberg, Germany. For more information, visit http://www.janwilke.com