Gala Concerts “Festkonzerte 25 Jahre Kölner Philharmonie” – the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne plays Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 under Markus Stenz.
The Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne has made its home in the Cologne Philharmonie for more than 25 years. The orchestra opened the city’s new concert hall on 14 September 1986 with Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, conducted by Marek Janowski. Thanks to the Philharmonie, Cologne is one of the leading musical centres worldwide and is proud of the architectural and acoustical masterwork at the foot of the Cologne Cathedral.
The original building project in the area between the Cathedral and the Rhine was initially intended primarily for the visual arts. Due to the commitment and far-sightedness of Cologne’s councillors, however, construction work began in 1981 not only on a museum but a separate concert hall as well. The city of Cologne acquired one of the most beautiful concert halls in the world and finally had a suitable performance venue for its orchestra.
From the beginning, the two house orchestras performed in the hall as strong partners: the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne and the WDR Symphony Orchestra. Together with the operator of the hall, KölnMusik GmbH, they initiated programmes such as the popular Philharmonie Lunch. Every season the Gürzenich Orchestra works and performs more than 100 days at the Cologne Philharmonie, presenting symphony and chamber concerts, children’s and family concerts and other events. With more than 90% of seats filled during the previous season, the attendance statistics demonstrate that the concerts of the Gürzenich Orchestra in its hall are an important part of Cologne’s musical life. During the 2016/2017 season as well, the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne looks forward to welcoming its public to more than 60 performances at the Cologne Philharmonie.
On the occasion of the hall’s 30th birthday on 14. Sep 16, the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne and the Gürzenich Orchestra have been led by their respective principal conductors Jukka-Pekka Saraste and François-Xavier Roth in performing birthday music of a special kind. A Concerto for two Orchestras – and its two conductors.