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CONCERTO KÖLN (COK)
Biography

Concerto Köln was founded in 1985, and it was not long before it had established a solid place amongst the highest-ranking orchestras for historical performance practice. From the very beginning, both audience and critics alike were highly enthusiastic about the energetic performance style of the ensemble. Thoroughly-researched interpretations brought to the stage with a new vivacity soon became the trademark of Concerto Köln, quickly paving the way to the most renowned concert halls and music festivals. During extensive tours throughout the USA, South East Asia, Canada, Latin America, Japan, Israel and most countries in Europe, Concerto Köln has spread its musical message and the name of its hometown throughout the world.
A partnership with the leading High End Audio specialists, MBL, was established in October of 2009. Both the company and the orchestra combine shared goals and values:"We maintain a similar philosophy and Concerto Köln pursues the same goals at a musical level as we do at the technical-musical level – to evoke the listener’s emotions through technical perfection and passion." (MBL)
Concerto Köln is working in close collaboration with the label Berlin Classics and has numerous recordings with the Deutschen Grammophon, Harmonia Mundi, EMI - Virgin Classics, Teldec, Edel and Capriccio and is able to boast a discography of more than 50 CDs, many of which have been awarded by Echo, Grammy, The German Record Critics Award, the Choc du Monde de la Musique, the Diapason d’Année or the Diapason d'Or.
The CD, "Symphonies", including works by Henri-Joseph Rigel (BERLIN classics/Edel) was honoured just recently with the MIDEM Classical Award 2010 in the category "First Recording" as well as the ECHO Klassik Award 2009 in the category "Symphonic Recording of the Year".
The musicians of the ensemble have been described as "musical truffle pigs" and it is fair to say that the orchestra has, with striking consistency, re-discovered composers whose beautiful music has remained hidden in the shadows of the great names and unfortunately forgotten by history.
Since 2005, Martin Sandhoff is responsible for the artistic direction of the orchestra. In addition to concertmasters from within Concerto Köln, external concert masters are also engaged on a regular basis. Rehearsals are frequently led by musicians of the ensemble, most often by Sylvie Kraus and Werner Matzke.
The size of the ensemble varies according to program and repertoire. As an ensemble that feels a responsibility to historical performance practice, Concerto Köln performs predominantly without a conductor. For large-scale productions such as operas and oratorios, Concerto Köln enjoys working together with conductors including René Jacobs, Marcus Creed, Daniel Harding, Evelino Pidò, Ivor Bolton, David Stern, Daniel Reuss, Pierre Cao, Laurence Equilbey and Emmanuelle Haïm.
Further musical partners include the mezzo-sopranos Cecilia Bartoli, Waltraud Meier, Magdalena Kožená, Vivica Genaux and Jennifer Larmore, the sopranos Natalie Dessay, Patricia Petibon, Malin Hartelius and Véronique Gens, the counter tenors Andreas Scholl, Matthias Rexroth and Philippe Jaroussky, the tenor Christoph Prégardien, the pianist Andreas Staier, the actor Bruno Ganz and Ulrich Tukur, the director Peter Sellars as well as the Balthasar-Neuman-Choir, the NDR Choir, the RIAS Chamber Choir, Accentus and Arsys de Bourgogne.