Jürgen Kesting

Music Critic, Author


Born in Duisburg in 1940, Jürgen Kesting studied German, English and Philosophy in Cologne and Vienna.

After finishing his studies, he worked for four years as press manager of the Cologne-based EMI Electrola and Munich-based Eurodisc record companies. In 1973, he switched over to the renowned German magazine “Stern” where he worked as editor and writer, and from 1978 on, as head of the arts/culture section.

In 1993, he changed over to the newly established newspaper DIE WOCHE, where he worked as a writer.

During his journalistic career, Kesting gained a reputation as critic and connoisseur of classical music - with singing as his special area of interest. In 1986, after producing countless music programs for radio (WDR, Südwestfunk, Süddeutscher Rundfunk, SFB, NDR, Bayerischer Rundfunk), he published a 2,000-page, three-volume study entitled “Die großen Sänger” (Great Singers). As a result of its enormous success, a one-volume special edition of the work is now available. He wrote a monograph on Maria Callas in 1990, which has since been translated into English and Russian, followed by a book-essay on Luciano Pavarotti in 1991.

Kesting was also known for his radio and television programs, in which he shared the love of music with many listeners and viewers. Already in its ninth year, the music series “Opernforum” (originally entitled “Belcanto-Museum”) has been a weekly NDR radio feature. He produced a 26-part series on Maria Callas for four German ARD radio broadcasters (SFB, NDR, MDR, Süddeutscher Rundfunk) and a 13-part series entitled “Die großen Tenöre” (great tenors) for ARD television.

In addition to music, another focus of his work has been on cultural policy, an area in which he has been actively involved, e.g., as a member of the Jury of the NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Contest.