The Gürzenich-Orchester Köln (Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne) is one of Germany’s leading orchestras for concerts and opera performances. The ensemble, which has almost 130 musicians, contributes substantially to the success of the Cologne Opera, whose international standing has been manifested for years in first-rate performances. The Gürzenich Orchestra has been one of the two resident orchestras of the Cologne Philharmonic Hall since the Hall’s opening in 1986. Every season, the orchestra performs around 50 concerts in the Philharmonic Hall for more than 100,000 listeners.
The name “Gürzenich Orchestra” refers to Cologne’s Gürzenich Hall, which is much older than world-famous concert halls such as Vienna’s Musikvereinssaal (1870) and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw (1888). For a long time, the Gürzenich was considered one of the most beautiful concert halls in the world. Throughout its history, the orchestra has always attracted the world’s leading composers and interpreters and performed the world premieres of famous works such as Johannes Brahms’ Double Concerto, Richard Strauss’ Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks and Gustav Mahler’s Fifth Symphony.
Guest performances in cities such as Amsterdam, London and Shanghai have made the Gürzenich Orchestra famous around the world. Since the 2015/2016 season, the orchestra’s chief conductor has been François-Xavier Roth, who bears the titles Gürzenich-Kapellmeister and Generalmusikdirektor (General Music Director) of the City of Cologne. Under his direction, the Gürzenich Orchestra has greatly expanded its repertoire for children, teenagers and senior citizens. Roth develops unusual programmes in order to bring the orchestra to new venues throughout the city. Another new feature is GO PLUS, which makes high-quality video and audio streams of live concert performances available on the orchestra’s website free of charge. The orchestra has received numerous awards for its CD recordings, most recently for a performance of Arnold Schönberg’s Gurre-Lieder conducted by the former Gürzenich-Kapellmeister Markus Stenz.
At the invitation of the Gürzenich Orchestra, Philippe Manoury is the official “Composer of Cologne” from 2015 to 2019.
Tel. (0221) 221 22467
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