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GĂĽrzenich Orchestra Cologne

The Gürzenich Orchestra of Cologne is one of Germany’s leading orchestras and can look back on a great tradition. Since 1986 the ensemble’s home has been at the Kölner Philharmonie, where it presents about 50 concerts annually, simultaneously giving over 160 performances a year at the Cologne Opera. gok-websiteSince the season 2015/2016 François-Xavier Roth is new Gürzenich-Kapellmeister (Chief Conductor) and General Music Director of the City of Cologne.

In the 2018/19 season, momunental symphonic works and the music by Robert Schumann are in the focus. Additionally, the GĂĽrzenich Orchestra once again intensifies its dialouge with today’s composers. With Philippe Manoury’s “Lab.Oratorium”, his Cologne-Trilogy is coming to an end. With this work, the GĂĽrzenich Orchestra will give its debut concerts in the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and the Philharmonie de Paris. Another tour leads the orchestra to Turin, Budapest, Zurich and Vienna. In the 2018/19 season, the music education programme “Ohrenauf!” celebrates its 20th birthday.

The historical roots of the Orchestra reach as far back as the 15th century, to the founding of the Cologne Cathedral’s in-strumental ensemble which, until the end of the 18th century, provided Cologne with concerts and theatre music in addition to church music. The Gürzenich-Orchestra has always attracted leading conductors and composers of the time and has premiered important works such as the Brahms Double Concerto, Till Eulenspiegel and Don Quixote by Richard Strauss and Gustav Mahler’s 5th Symphony, as well as Max Reger’s Hiller-Variations and Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Concerto for Orchestra. From 2015 until 2019 Philippe Manoury is invited by the Orchestra as “Composer for Cologne”, creating a trilogy of new spatialised orchestra pieces.

The orchestra gives regular guest performances on interna-tional concert podiums, including those in Vienna, Athens, Thessaloniki, at the Edinburgh International Festival, in London at the BBC Proms as well as at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the last Asia-Tour in 2014 led the orchestra to Seoul, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Bejing.

Since September 2015, the new chief conductor is François-Xavier Roth. With the tagline “More music for everyone!” he has expanded the offerings of school concerts, and chamber ensembles are visiting elderly residence facilities and day-care centres. Another new offering is the streaming of GO Plus: selected concerts are recorded in audio and video and offered for free on the orchestra’s homepage.

The orchestra has received a lot of internationally acclaimed awards for their recordings. Most recently the CD with Arnold Schönberg’s Gurre-Lieder under the baton of Markus Stenz, chief conductor of the orchestra from 2003-2014, was awarded a Gramophone Award in 2016. Playing under Dmitrij Kitajenko, who was appointed their honorary conductor in 2009 all the symphonies of Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov were recorded.

> more information about the 2018/19 programme

> information about the focus on Manoury in the 2017/2018 season

> Communiqué de presse

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