Ferdinand Hiller, a forgotten NRW treasure

Ferdinand Hiller is one of the many composers whose musical oeuvre has been unjustly forgotten. It is therefore fitting that Michael Alexander Willens and his Kölner Akademie are devoting themselves to Hiller’s music. He was born in Frankfurt am Main in 1811 into a Jewish merchant family. His parents encouraged his talent at an early age and sent him to Weimar, where he received lessons from Hummel. Thanks to his pianistic skills and his first compositional successes, he soon made a name for himself throughout Europe – he was no stranger to Vienna, Paris, Milan and Leipzig.

He was of decisive importance for what would later become North Rhine-Westphalia: as director of the Gürzenich Orchestra and the Cologne Academy of Music, he became an authority in the cathedral city. He was also the director of the Lower Rhine Music Festival. In its program, which is made possible by the LVR, the Cologne Academy dedicates itself to largely unknown works by Ferdinand Hiller and thus has a musical NRW treasure.

Overture to Demetrius by Schiller op. 145

Fantasy piece for violin and orchestra op. 152b
Ariadne Daskalakis, violin

Rebecca op. 185
Oratorio for soloists, choir and orchestra

Anna Herbst, soprano
Magnus Piontek, bass
Thomas Bonni. Bass

Kölner Akademie Choir and Orchestra
Conductor: Michael Alexander Willens

Supported by the


13.11.23, 8 pm, Historische Stadthalle Wuppertal: https://www.koelnticket.de/event/ferdinand-hiller-ein-vergessener-nrw-schatz-historische-stadthalle-wuppertal-17809625/?affiliate=KT1

14.11.23, 8 pm, Trinitatiskirche Cologne: https://www.koelnticket.de/event/ferdinand-hiller-ein-vergessener-nrw-schatz-trinitatiskirche-17824577/?affiliate=KT1

15.11.23, 8 pm, Theater Mönchengladbach: https://www.koelnticket.de/event/ferdinand-hiller-ein-vergessener-nrw-schatz-theater-moenchengladbach-17824576/?affiliate=KT1