Prof. Markus Utz

Born 1972 in Kempten, Allgäu, Utz was choirmaster and organist for the Konstanz district and musical director of Unserer Lieben Frau cathedral in Konstanz, Bodensee from 2001 to 2008. In 2008 he was appointed professor for choral conducting at the Zurich University of the Arts where he leads a choral conducting class and is artistic director of the ensemble cantissimo. The professional vocal ensemble has performed in Israel and is regularly used as concert choir for the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich.

Markus Utz studied church music, organ (under Professor Gerhard Weinberger) and conducting at the Academy of Music in Detmold. His characterizing influences and major artistic impulses, however, he received at the Royal College of Music, Stockholm. With the aid of a DAAD scholarship, he studied conducting in Professor Anders Eby’s renowned diploma class. In addition to this, he had the opportunity to receive private lessons from the acclaimed Professor Eric Ericson. Following his time at the Royal College of Music, Prof. Utz taught choral conducting at Sweden’s Uppsala University.

Apart from awards for his organ playing at various competitions, he received the scholarship of the Scandinavian Bach Academy (Sir Andrew Parrot) in 2000. In October 2003, he was the sole German contestant in the final round of the Eric Ericson international conducting competition in Stockholm.

Being a specialist for choral conducting improvisation and a distinguished expert on Scandinavian choral music, Utz has received regular invitations to lecture at courses in Germany, Italy, and Switzerland for the last several years.

Beginning in his younger years working with Heiligkreuzer Konzerte Kempten, he familiarized himself with a broad repertoire stretching from the music of the Renaissance to the most recent compositions of the 21st century. Markus Utz founded the ensemble cantissimo as a student and has made an excellent name for himself in and outside of Germany due to its unusual programmatic and sound conceptions of old and new a cappella music. In the wake of the ensemble’s success come frequent invitations to guest conduct, including choirs broadcasting in Stockholm and Berlin, as well as the European Youth Choir.