Without the support of our partners and sponsors (WDR and the City of Köln) running this international competition would not be possible for the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Cologne. The competition partners and sponsors do not only provide financial support for the project, but offer also further engagements, media announcements as well as organizational assistance.
The WDR Funkhaus Orchestra Cologne (formerly, WDR Radio Orchestra Cologne) was founded in its present form in 1947. Several smaller and larger instrumental ensembles were incorporated into the orchestra, some were already established in 1927. Today, the leading light of West German Broadcasting (WDR) has 52 members and is Europe’s only symphony orchestra specializing in a comprehensive repertoire of entertainment music: musicals, opera and operettas, film scores and classical compositions, unknown oratorios and works inspired by jazz. Alongside regular performances in concert halls across North Rhine-Westphalia and at international music festivals, the WDR Funkhaus Orchestra Cologne gives recitals in Cologne’s Philharmonic Hall and the Klaus-von-Bismarck Saal in Cologne’s Funkhaus. The popular series of radio programmes mainly broadcast on WDR 4 ensure that each week more people listen to the WDR Funkhaus Orchestra Cologne than any other orchestra – not only within the local region, but now virtually worldwide thanks to modern satellite communications. The WDR Funkhaus Orchestra Cologne has produced a prolific number of album recordings since the 1950s. Many of these audio recordings were distinguished with international record awards. The orchestra’s influence has significantly increased during its more than 65-year history. The orchestra recently discovered the fascinating universe of music for computer games, launching a dubstep music project in 2012. This innovation and numerous other concert performances for children and young people ensures that the WDR Funkhaus Orchestra Cologne constantly appeals to a new audience, also enthusing its youngest listeners for symphonic music. It is increasingly dedicated to original reconstructions of operetta scores by persecuted and exiled composers like Paul Abraham and Leo Fall. Recordings of historical and newly composed silent film music involve collaborative work with ZDF/ARTE. The WDR Funkhaus Orchestra Cologne gives regular performances outside its home city. In 2011, its guest appearances included the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, and it was the first orchestra to perform at the world cultural heritage “Neues Museum” in Berlin. The orchestra continues to be a popular guest at major German festivals such as Rheingau Musik Festival, the Musikfestspielen Mecklenburg-Vorpommern or the International Musical Festival Heidelberger Frühling.
From the 1997/98 season until 2003, Helmuth Froschauer was the orchestra’s Head Conductor. In honour of his distinguished contribution, upon his retirement, he was appointed Honorary Conductor. Michael Jurowski and Niklas Willén succeeded as Head Conductors. At the start of the 2014/2015 season, the British conductor Wayne Marshall assumed the role of Head Conductor and leader of the WDR Funkhaus Orchestra Cologne.
Dutch conductor Enrico Delamboye studied piano with Joop Celis and orchestra conducting with Jan Stulen, both at the Conservatory of Maastricht. Next to his studies, he also took viola lessons. He took part in Master classes of a.o. Roberto Benzi. As of 2000/2001 he was engaged as conductor and repetitor at the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden. In 2004 Enrico Delamboye was appointed ‘erster Kapellmeister’ at the Wuppertaler Bühnen.
His international break-through followed when Markus Stenz asked him to accept the position of principal conductor at the Oper Köln from 2005/6, where he conducted two to three new productions each season as well as several revivals. As of the 2009/10 season, he is the new GMD at the Theater Koblenz.
Next to these engagements, Enrico Delamboye conducts at houses such as the Komische Oper and Philharmonie in Berlin, as well as the Concertgebouw Amsterdam. For several years, he was principal guest conductor at the Staatstheater Mainz. In addition, he is a regular guest at the Limburg Symphony Orchestra en recently conducted a new production of Faust at the Theater Basel. He made his debut at the Brabants Orkest conducting the season’s opening concerts, as well as the opening of the 2009/10 season at the Theater Basel, conducting Madama Butterfly.
A German Kapellmeister conducts opera, ballet and symphonic programs. Enrico Delamboye has now built an extensive repertoire of around fifty symphonic pieces such as well-known symphonies and concerts of Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and Brahms, but also Berio’s Rendering, Ives’ Decoration Day, Ligeti’s Ramifications, and Schnittke’s viola concerto.
Furthermore, he has already conducted fifty different operas, among which the well-known Mozart, Rossini, Verdi and Puccini operas; but also Fidelio, Carmen, Hänsel und Gretel, Werther, Les contes d’Hoffmann, Die verkaufte Braut, Die Fledermaus and Der Freischütz. He also conducts contemporary operas such as Berg’s Wozzeck, Amahl and the Night Visitors of Menotti and Weill’s Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny. His repertoire also includes Wagner’s Tannhäuser and Rheingold.
He has been leading orchestra rehearsals and concerts, ballet and opera performances virtually every day during the past eight years, therefore Enrico Delamboye can be considered one of the more experienced conductors of his generation.
Representing one of the oldest cities in central Europe, Cologne is characterized by a long diversified musical history with a spectrum ranging from classical antiquity to the present day. All musical categories can be found here: from old music, via modern repertoires up to jazz, rock and pop. No other German city offers this colourful and exciting time travel of music from the Middle Ages to today.
Owing to the wide range of various music institutions, musical education opportunities and Cologne’s free music scene, the city provides an extraordinarily interesting and rich musical life of highest quality and complexity. In Cologne one of the largest and oldest academies of music in Europe, the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Cologne, and the Rheinische Musikschule are located, two excellent training institutions for musical careers.
As one of the leading concert halls in Germany the Cologne Philharmonic Hall was opened in 1986, since then staging numerous world-famous orchestras and ensembles. With the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne and the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne the city of Cologne presents two prestigious orchestras of international reputation. Moreover, the WDR with its WDR Rundfunkorchester, the Rundfunkchor and the Big Band enhances the cultural scene of Cologne as a musical venue.
Last not least, there is no other German city to be named as an example for such a highly vivid, creative and versatile musical life, the event of the International Music Competition Cologne as a magnificient highlight included.
„Without music, life would be a mistake!“, Nietzsche wrote. How right he was! This is the motto the HfMT Association of Friends and Sponsors identify themselves with. They aim to communicate the outstanding cultural institution to the utmost number of music-interested citizens, to make them realize the joy and power of music themselves and for others. The Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln is one of the world’s foremost performing and pres-tigious music institution for higher education in Europe with a long-term tradition.The institute offers an excellent education covering the full range of artistic, musicological and music-pedagogical disciplines and categories as well as contemporary dance. It presents a well-known institution, which brings together lecturers and students from all over the world. For us it is a great pleasure and honour to cooperate as a partner at this interface between artistic development and creative performance.
Moreover, we constitute a very motivated partnership of the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln with the intention to increase the popular knowledge of this institution. Thus, we are not only providing financial help but also our voluntary activities with regard to assistance and advise. Last not least, we plan exclusive events for our members, and every day we highly enjoy the large variety of concerts and very interesting lectures of the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln .