Wrapup 2022

Kölner Akademie in 2022

Review of the year

In these last days of the year, despite the still difficult circumstances in the cultural scene, we look back with satisfaction on an eventful year in which once again more was possible. We think back particularly fondly on a few very special highlights:

In April, for example, we were able to record works by the composer Emilie Mayer for Deutschlandfunk. Mayer, who was born in Mecklenburg in 1812 and lived until 1883, was a highly respected composer in her time. She was even referred to as the “female Beethoven”. She wrote songs, chamber music, several symphonies and concert overtures stylistically influenced by Viennese Classicism and, from the 1850s, also strongly by Beethoven. She was a pupil of Carl Loewe and kept an open house in Berlin, where important personalities of social and aristocratic life came and went. She was one of the most important female composers of the Romantic period, whose works were performed throughout Europe. In addition to three concert overtures that we recorded, her only piano concerto was also recorded, on which we were able to work with the great Tobias Koch.

We were able to give some special concerts this year. One of the very special highlights was the concert in May in Cologne with works by Jewish composers of the 19th century. In addition to choral music by Mendelssohn and Meyerbeer, the programme included works by Ferdinand Hiller. Hiller, who was born in Frankfurt in 1811, was a composer, conductor and music teacher. He was to become a decisive figure for the Rhineland: He first came to Düsseldorf as a conductor and shortly afterwards became the director of the Gürzenich Orchestra as well as the director of the Cologne Academy of Music. He also left his mark on the region as festival director of the Lower Rhine Music Festival.

In June we were guests at the Leipzig Bach Festival. The concert was entitled “Der Vater und seine Bubn” (The Father and his Boys) and was dedicated to Johann Sebastian Bach, his sons and other successors. At the successful concert we played together with the harpsichordists Avinoam Shalev and the pianist Paolo Giacometti.

We were able to conclude this concert year with another extremely successful concert experience outside the Cologne city limits: On 30 October we were guests together with the pianist Ronald Brautigam in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. This concert, which was also recorded by the radio, was another beautiful milestone in our wonderful collaboration with Ronald Brautigam. The programme included a piano concerto by Carl Maria von Weber and Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s Italian Symphony.

We are very grateful for the many radiant musical moments in the past year and look forward to many more in 2023!