The Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne (Gürzenich Orchester Köln) is a German symphony orchestra based in Cologne (Köln). On some recordings, the orchestra goes under the name "Gürzenich-Orchester Kölner Philharmoniker". Its primary concert venue is the Kölner Philharmonie (Cologne Philharmonic Hall).
The Gürzenich Orchestra traces its origins to 1827, when a group of Cologne Bürger sponsored the creation of the "Cölner Concert-Gesellschaft" (Cologne Concert Society) to set up "Gesellschaftskonzerte" (Society concerts) and "Abonnementskonzerte" (subscription concerts). From 1857 on, these concerts took place in a concert hall named the Gürzenich, hence the orchestra's name. In 1986, the orchestra took up residence at the Kölner Philharmonie. The orchestra also plays in opera productions in the Cologne Opera.
Since 2003, the Gürzenich-Kapellmeister has been Markus Stenz. He is scheduled to conclude his Gürzenich tenure in 2014.
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The world premieres performed by the Gürzenich Orchestra include the following works:
Johannes Brahms, Double Concerto (1887),
Gustav Mahler, Symphony No. 3 (in collaboration with the Städtischen Kapelle Krefeld, 1902),
Gustav Mahler, Symphony No. 5 (1904),
Max Reger, Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Johann Adam Hiller for Orchestra (1907),
Richard Strauss, Don Quixote (1898),
Richard Strauss, Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks (1895),
Bernd Alois Zimmermann, Sinfonia prosodica (1964),
Conradin Kreutzer (1840-1842),
Heinrich Dorn (1843-1849),
Ferdinand Hiller (1850-1884),
Franz Wüllner (1884-1902),
Fritz Steinbach (1903-1914),
Hermann Abendroth, GMD (1915-1934),
Eugen Papst (1936-1944),
Günter Wand, GMD (1945-1974),
Yuri Ahronovitch (1975-1986),
Marek Janowski (1986-1990),
James Conlon, GMD (1990-2002),
Markus Stenz, GMD (2003-present),
The orchestra's discography includes several CDs for EMI Classics of the music of Alexander von Zemlinsky, conducted by James Conlon. In October 2005, the Gürzenich Orchestra began to produce their own commercial CD recordings under the "GO live!" label. One unique feature of these recordings are that these are recordings of the orchestra's performances that same evening, made available within 5 minutes of the end of the concert for purchase by audience members.