Gürzenich Orchestra

Gürzenich Orchestra

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The Gürzenich-Orchester Köln is a symphony orchestra based in Cologne
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

, Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. On some recordings, the orchestra goes under the name "Gürzenich-Orchester Kölner Philharmoniker". Its primary concert venue is the Kölner Philharmonie (Cologne Philharmonic Hall).

The Gürzenich Orchestra traces its origins to 1827, when a group of Cologne Bürger sponsored the creation of the "Cölner Concert-Gesellschaft" (Cologne Concert Society) to set up "Gesellschaftskonzerte" (Society concerts) and "Abonnementskonzerte" (subscription concerts). From 1857 on, these concerts took place in a concert hall named the Gürzenich, hence the orchestra's name. In 1986, the orchestra took up residence at the Kölner Philharmonie. The orchestra also plays in opera productions in the Cologne Opera.

The world premieres performed by the Gürzenich Orchestra include the following works:
  • Johannes Brahms
    Johannes Brahms
    Johannes Brahms was a German composer and pianist, and one of the leading musicians of the Romantic period. Born in Hamburg, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna, Austria, where he was a leader of the musical scene...

    , Double Concerto
    Double Concerto (Brahms)
    The Double Concerto in A minor, Op. 102, by Johannes Brahms is a concerto for violin, cello and orchestra.- Origin of the work :The Double Concerto was Brahms' final work for orchestra. It was composed in the summer of 1887, and first performed on 18 October of that year in the Gürzenich in Köln,...

  • Gustav Mahler
    Gustav Mahler
    Gustav Mahler was a late-Romantic Austrian composer and one of the leading conductors of his generation. He was born in the village of Kalischt, Bohemia, in what was then Austria-Hungary, now Kaliště in the Czech Republic...

    , Symphony No. 3
    Symphony No. 3 (Mahler)
    The Symphony No. 3 by Gustav Mahler was written between 1893 and 1896. It is his longest piece and is the longest symphony in the standard repertoire, with a typical performance lasting around ninety to one hundred minutes.- Structure :...

     (in collaboration with the Städtischen Kapelle Krefeld, 1902)
  • Mahler, Symphony No. 5
    Symphony No. 5
    Symphony No. 5 may refer to:*William Alwyn's Symphony No. 5*Malcolm Arnold's Symphony No. 5*Arnold Bax's Symphony No. 5*Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 5*Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 5*Jeffrey Ching's Symphony No. 5, "Jackhammer"...

  • Max Reger
    Max Reger
    Johann Baptist Joseph Maximilian Reger was a German composer, conductor, pianist, organist, and academic teacher.-Life:...

    , Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Johann Adam Hiller for Orchestra (1907)
  • Richard Strauss
    Richard Strauss
    Richard Georg Strauss was a leading German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. He is known for his operas, which include Der Rosenkavalier and Salome; his Lieder, especially his Four Last Songs; and his tone poems and orchestral works, such as Death and Transfiguration, Till...

    , Don Quixote
    Don Quixote (Strauss)
    Don Quixote, Op. 35, is a composition by Richard Strauss for cello, viola and large orchestra. Subtitled Phantastische Variationen über ein Thema ritterlichen Charakters , the work is based on the novel Don Quixote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes. Strauss composed this work in Munich in 1897...

  • Richard Strauss, Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks (1895)
  • Bernd Alois Zimmermann
    Bernd Alois Zimmermann
    Bernd Alois Zimmermann was a post-WWII West German composer. He is perhaps best known for his opera Die Soldaten which is regarded as one of the most important operas of the 20th century...

    , Sinfonia prosodica (1964)

The orchestra's discography includes several CDs for EMI Classics of the music of Alexander von Zemlinsky
Alexander von Zemlinsky
Alexander Zemlinsky or Alexander von Zemlinsky was an Austrian composer, conductor, and teacher.-Early life:...

, conducted by James Conlon
James Conlon
James Conlon is an American conductor and the current Music Director of the Los Angeles Opera.-Early years:Conlon grew up in a family of five children on Cherry Street in Douglaston, Queens, New York. His mother, Angeline L. Conlon, was a freelance writer. His father was an assistant to the New...

. In October 2005, the Gürzenich Orchestra began to produce their own commercial CD recordings under the "GO live!" label. One unique feature of these recordings are that these are recordings of the orchestra's performances that same evening, made available within 5 minutes of the end of the concert for purchase by audience members.


  • Conradin Kreutzer (1840–1842)
  • Heinrich Dorn (1843–1849)
  • Ferdinand Hiller
    Ferdinand Hiller
    Ferdinand Hiller was a German composer, conductor, writer and music-director.-Biography:Ferdinand Hiller was born to a wealthy Jewish family in Frankfurt am Main, where his father Justus was a merchant in English textiles – a business eventually continued by Ferdinand’s brother Joseph...

  • Franz Wüllner
    Franz Wüllner
    Franz Wüllner was a German composer and conductor. He led the premieres of Richard Wagner's operas Das Rheingold and Die Walküre, but was much criticized by Wagner himself, who greatly preferred the more celebrated conductors Hans von Bülow and Hermann Levi.Wüllner was born in Münster and studied...

  • Fritz Steinbach
    Fritz Steinbach
    Fritz Steinbach was a German conductor and composer who was particularly associated with the works of Johannes Brahms. Born in Grünsfeld, he was the brother of conductor Emil Steinbach. He studied at the Leipzig Conservatory and in Vienna. Among his teachers were Martin Gustav Nottebohm and Anton...

  • Hermann Abendroth
    Hermann Abendroth
    Hermann Paul Maximilian Abendroth was a German conductor.-Early life:Abendroth was born on 19 January 1883, at Frankfurt, Germany, belonging to a family which had already produced other artistic figures of divers disciplines...

    , GMD (1915–1934)
  • Eugen Papst (1936–1944)
  • Günter Wand
    Günter Wand
    Günter Wand was a German orchestra conductor and composer. Wand studied in Wuppertal, Allenstein and Detmold. At the Cologne conservatory, he was a composition student with Philipp Jarnach and a piano student with Paul Baumgartner...

    , GMD (1945–1974)
  • Yuri Ahronovitch (1975–1986)
  • Marek Janowski
    Marek Janowski
    Marek Janowski is a Polish-born conductor.Janowski grew up in Wuppertal, Germany, near Cologne, after his mother traveled there at the start of World War II to be with her parents...

  • James Conlon
    James Conlon
    James Conlon is an American conductor and the current Music Director of the Los Angeles Opera.-Early years:Conlon grew up in a family of five children on Cherry Street in Douglaston, Queens, New York. His mother, Angeline L. Conlon, was a freelance writer. His father was an assistant to the New...

    , GMD (1990–2002)
  • Markus Stenz
    Markus Stenz
    Markus Stenz is a German conductor. He studied at the Hochschule für Musik Köln with Volker Wangenhein and at Tanglewood with Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa....

    , GMD (2003–present)

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