Die Kölner Akademie (The Cologne Academy)
Die Kölner Akademie - Orchester Damals und Heute is a unique ensemble based in Cologne which performs music of the seventeenth through the twenty first centuries on both modern and period instruments with world renowned guest soloists.
The ensemble seeks to bring out the composers' intentions by using historical seating plans, critical editions and the proper instrumentation for each work.
Die Kölner Akademie has received the highest critical acclaim for its outstanding performances at major festivals in Germany, Austria, France, Spain, Holland, Italy, Belgium, Estonia and Iceland. Many of these performances were broadcast live and several were filmed for television. The group’s first CD, a recording Johann Valentin Meder’s "St. Matthew Passion” for Raumklang received 5 stars in Goldberg, Fono Forum, Musik und Kirche and excellent reviews in Concerto (Germany), EARLY MUSIC (UK) and the Record Geijutsu (Japan). This has been followed by the highly praised series “Forgotten treasures” on the ARS Produktion label. This series now stands at ten recordings of a planned total of fifteen. These include world premiere recordings of works by lesser-known composers including Crusell, Danzi, Pichl, Vanhal, Wilms, Romberg, Neukomm, Fischer, Kunc, Jeanjean, D'Alvimare and Steibelt. The CD of symphonies by Bernhard Romberg received a SUPRSONIC prize. In addition, Die Kölner Akademie has released world premiere recordings of music by Mattheson, Ries and Eberl for CPO as well as a premiere recording of the Glöckner/Hellmann reconstruction of J.S. Bach's St. Mark Passion.
In the fall of 2009 the orchestra began recording all of the Mozart piano concertos with Ronald Brautigam for the BIS label.
Highlights of the orchestra’s 2010 season include performances German Baroque cantatas at the Royal Music Conservatory in Brussels, a tour featuring works by Mozart and Schubert with concerts in Alkmaar, Groningen and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, several concerts in honour of Pergolesi's 200th anniversary in France, Italy and Spain, a premiere performance of an oratorio by J.J. Fux at the Baroque Festival in Melk (Austria) as well as other performances at the Haydn Festival in Eisenstadt and the Chopin Festival in Warsaw.