At a glance
World-class concerts, acoustics and atmosphereWhat are the acoustics like in a concert hall that’s located a few metres above an underground line? Outstanding. At least that’s the general opinion about Cologne’s Philharmonic Hall. However, the square above the roof of the Philharmonic must be closed off during every concert. That’s because footsteps, skateboard tricks and bicycles would disturb the hall’s highly acclaimed acoustics. What would Cologne be without its oddities?
Despite this quirk, the Philharmonic Hall’s success justifies its excellent overall reputation. One or more concerts are performed in Cologne’s Philharmonic Hall almost every day. That adds up to about 400 concerts per year, attended by approximately 650,000 listeners. There are many good reasons for the hall’s success, in addition to its aforementioned unique acoustics. And they’re definitely also good reasons to visit the concert hall.
A multifaceted programme: Classical music, jazz, pop etc.The Philharmonic Hall’s programme offers you a broad spectrum of listening experiences and events: classical concerts featuring high-calibre international orchestras, world premieres, brilliant soloists, exquisite chamber music, thrilling piano recitals, cool jazz, pop events and the concerts of the Acht Brücken music festival. Performers of world-class music presented by a variety of organizers enjoy giving guest performances at the Philharmonic. But the Philharmonic Hall also has orchestras of its own: the WDR Symphony Orchestra and the Gürzenich Orchestra.
Incidentally, don’t wait too long to buy your ticket — there’s room for 1,999 other listeners next to you and around you.
The Philharmonic Lunch on Thursdays: Free admission to an orchestra rehearsalIt’s Thursday noon, and you’ve got some time — or possibly you’d like to beat a stylish retreat from the cathedral city’s hustle and bustle. If so, find out if a Philharmonic Lunch has been scheduled in the Philharmonic Hall. You can check out the dates here. Incidentally, in this case “lunch” doesn’t refer to a meal — it means you can listen in on an orchestra rehearsal for 30 minutes free of charge and thus receive an authentic impression of how the members of the orchestra prepare for a performance. It’s a real insider tip for music lovers. Admission is free of charge.
Atmosphere, seats and acoustics in the Cologne styleOf course you’d like to have the best possible seat for your concert date in Cologne. The architectural design of the Philharmonic Hall is similar to an amphitheatre, and it’s a perfect fit for the Cologne mentality. The seating plan ensures that you can see and hear everything perfectly from every seat in the house, because in Cologne all of us are sitting in the same boat. There are no parallel walls in the hall, and as a result there’s no echo. Even the seats are designed to ensure that the sound always remains constant, whether or not you’re sitting down.
The concert programme is visually supplemented by exhibitions in the foyer such as documentation about the composers and celebrity musicians.
The architecture and history of Cologne’s Philharmonic HallThe concert hall of the Philharmonic is part of a complex of buildings that is shared with the Museum Ludwig. It was opened in 1986 after a construction period of several years. International tenders for the project had been issued in 1975; the contract was awarded to the architecture firm Busmann + Haberer. The Philharmonic’s concert organ, which has almost 6,000 pipes, was built in the Johannes Klais workshop in Bonn.
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