Die Kölner Akademie - Orchester Damals und Heute (The Cologne
Academy) is a unique ensemble based in Cologne which performs music of the 17th through the 21st 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. Currently 8 CD's for an eventual box of 12 have been released featuring world premiere recordings withmusic of lesser known composers such as Crusell, Danzi, Pichl, Hofmeister, Vanhal, WIlms, Neukomm, Fischer, Stamitz, Kunc and Templeton Strong. 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. In the fall of 2009 the orchestra will begin to record all of the Mozart piano concertos with Ronald Brautigam for the BIS label.
Highlights of the orchestra’s 2008-2009 season include performances of Igor Stravinsky’s Sacre du Printemps (on period instruments) and Rameau at the Early Music Festival in Utrecht, concerts of L.v. Beethoven and Onslow at the Festival van Vlaanderen in Belgium, a program of Haydn and Mozart with the Nederlands Kamerkoor in Holland, a tour of Sweden, Holland and Belgium with Ronald Brautigam featuring Mozart piano concertos, a performance of Meder’s St. Matthew Passion at the Festival Internacional de Musica Portico de Zamora in Spain, a performance of J.S. Bach’s Markus-Passion (BWV 247) in Dresden at the Frauenkirche, performances of Haydn’s Creation at the Europäische Festwochen in Passau and Festival for Europäische Kirchenmusik in Schwäbisch Gmünd as well as performances of J.S. Bach’s Magnificat (BWV 243), St Mark Passion (BWV 247), cantatas and concertos at the Vestfoldfestival in Norway and the Festival Piccola Accademia de Montisi in Italy.