Marcus Sterk channels his own special energy into his unmistakeable interpretations of organ music from various epochs. His mastery of multi-layered timbral facets takes Sterk on concert tours of Europe and Asia as an organist and conductor. He has already demonstrated how manifoldly radiant the hues and nuances of his chosen instrument can be in Munich Cathedral and on the Cavaillé-Coll organs at St. Madeleine and Notre-Dame in Paris.
Marcus Sterk has a particular passion for the works of Johann Sebastian Bach and for Romantic organ music. The CD recordings that he has released over the past few years, for instance of him playing the Link organ in the Church of the Holy Ghost in the town where he was born - Neuburg a.d. Donau, are dedicated to music from his favourite epochs. Together with the English trumpet-player Matthew Sadler, he co-released the CD, “Heroic Music”, which gets to grips with Georg Philipp Telemann’s eponymous 12 musical miniatures.
Sterk has performed as a member of well-known orchestras, like the Munich Philharmonic, the Bayerischer Rundfunk Symphony Orchestra and the Camerata Salzburg. A range of different radio and TV recordings adorn his CV – collaboration with conductors like Franz Welser-Möst, Mariss Jansons, James Conlon, Lorin Maazel and Ton Koopman has left its mark on his expressiveness and verve.
The panoply of conductor Marcus Sterk’s talent ranges from classical recitals through to contemporary music.
As artistic director of “Denken & Beten” [Thinking & Praying], a series of performances initiated by the Munich School of Philosophy, he fostered a spiritual repertoire, such as Gregorian chants and the major works of the First Viennese School and of Romanticism, particularly Haydn and Schubert. At the same time numerous engagements opened his mind to the new and unconventional that he encountered in film music, traditional folk music and crossover programmes.
Marcus Sterk has, for example, conducted the Munich Symphony Orchestra and the ‘Georgisches Kammerorchester Ingolstadt’. He has conducted at performances of Classical, Romantic and Contemporary masterworks, including Franz Schubert’s Mass No. 5 (A flat major), Béla Bartok’s Divertimento, Frank Martin’s Passacaglia as well as Handel’s oratorio, “Il trionfo del disinganno”, in a production by the ‘Theaterakademie August Everding’.
For more than twelve years Marcus Sterk was the church musician at St. Sylvester, one of Munich’s oldest churches and located in the district of Schwabing, where he had a distinguished career as organist, choir master and orchestra leader. For two years he has been Master of the long-established ‘Münchner Männerchor’ [Munich Male Choir].
Marcus Sterk was awarded a scholarship by YEHUDI MENUHIN Live Music Now München e. V. for his artistic achievements. His premiere of Narine Khatchatryan’s piece, “Bitter Moon”, won him the ‘Günter Bialas Interpretation Award for Contemporary Music’.
Musician Marcus Sterk was born in 1977 and studied the organ at Munich’s ‘University of Music and Performing Arts’, attending Edgar Krapp’s master classes. He also studied conducting and was taught by such famous tutors as Bruno Weil, Konstantia Gourzi and Michael Gläser. In keeping with his interdisciplinary interests, he followed up his musical education by studying Law and Economics at the University of Augsburg from 2005 to 2009.
So Marcus Sterk has a philosophy similar to that of Georg Philipp Telemann amongst others, who devoted himself to jurisprudence as well as music. He lives in particular by the words of virtuoso Yehudi Menuhin, for whom he has performed at many Live Music Now München e.V. concerts. “The music speaks just for itself, provided we give it a chance to do so.” He wants more than just to let the music play – that is a given to Sterk’s mind – he wants to let the music speak for itself. That’s because there is plenty to say.