Johannes Willig was born in Freiburg/ Breisgau and began his studies in piano, conducting and accompaniment at the Freiburg Music Academy (1990- 94). He continued his conducting studies in Vienna with Prof. Leopold Hager, Prof. Dr. Harald Goetz and Prof Konrad Leitner.
Masterclasses with Jorma Panula.
After winning several competitions he began his professional career as assistant to the Music Director of the Biel/Solothurn theatre in Switzerland.
From 2000 – 2003 Johannes Willig joined the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe as assistant to the Music Director (Kazushi Ono) and second Kapellmeister. He got the opportunity to conduct operas such as Norma, Aida, Salome, Lohengrin, Falstaff, Lakmé, Tosca, Attila and Ernani. Furthermore he lead new productions of Glinka’s Ruslan and Ludmilla, Die Fledermaus,I Puritani and Cendrillon.
He became very popular as conductor and narrator of the Theatre’s Children and Youth Concerts for which he was responsible.
Between 2003 and 2011 Maestro Willig was a member of the ensemble of the Kiel Opera, in the capacity of 1st Kapellmeister. Apart from various concerts he has been entrusted to conduct new productions of Norma, Le Nozze di Figaro, Anna Bolena, Alberto Colla’s Der Prozess, Nino Rota’s Aladdin und die Wunderlampe, A Florentine Tragedy, Gianni Schicchi, La Gioconda, Werther, Don Quijote (Christobal Halffter), La Forza del Destino, Viva la Mamma,La Clemenza di Tito, Sacre du printemps and Turandot.
His busy schedule also included guest performances at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna, the Wiesbaden State Theatre, the Freiburg Opera, the St. Gallen Opera, the Opera of Graz and the Deutsche Oper Berlin.
Concert engagements took him to the Vienna Pro Arte Orchestra, to the Orchestra of the Beethovenhalle Bonn, to the “Georg Enescu” Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestra and to the Badische Staatskapelle Karlsruhe.
In 2004 he conducted the New-Year’s Concerts of the Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna in Munich and the Teatro San Carlo, Naples.
In the 2005/06 season he guest conducted the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra of Münster, the Neue Westfälische Philharmonie and the Orquestra Nacional do Porto, respectively.
The Opéra de Lyon has invited the artist for a revival of Prokofiev’s Roméo et Juliette in November 2008. He came back to Lyon in June 2010 to conduct the new production of Hänsel and Gretel.
Since the beginning of the season 2011 / 2012 he is 1st Kapellmeister at the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe where he conducted the new productions of Rigoletto, Wallenberg ( Erkki-Sven Tüür ), La Vestale and La fille du regiment. He also was responsible for the revivals of La Traviata and Tosca and took over performances of A village Romeo and Juliet and Don Giovanni.
The symphonic side include abonnement concerts with the Badische Staatskapelle Karlsruhe as well as youth concerts with moderation. In the current season he is responsible for the new productions of Un ballo in maschera, Dr. Atomic and Boris Godunov.