The Orchestra is an independent organization and does not receive State subsidies. In today's musical world this is an unusual approach, at least in Germany where a comparable orchestra cannot be found.
The Cologne New Philharmonic Orchestra has been enchanting audiences for more than 40 years with its electrifying performance style.
By gradually finding its own style of interpretation, one that is characterized by spirit, vivacity and faithful rendition, the Cologne New Philharmonic Orchestra has also been able to win the hearts of people whose musical preferences previously did not include classical music.
Musicians from all over the world have made the Cologne New Philharmonic Orchestra their musical home, most of them advanced students of the Rhineland conservatories and prize winners at international competitions.
Numerous and most successful concert tours abroad are continuously undertaken by the Cologne New Philharmonic Orchestra.
Since it's cooperation with the British virtuoso violinist Nigel Kennedy from 1997 to 1999, the Cologne New Philharmonic Orchestra has been widely seen as an orchestra that belongs in the upper echelons of classical music.
Volker Hartung assumed the position of chief conductor of the Cologne New Philharmonic Orchestra in 1986. He was trained in the tradition of German symphony orchestras and opera. Under the influence of the conductors Evgeny Mravinsky and Sergiu Celibidache, Hartung developed a special understanding of the French, German and Eastern European musical traditions.
Under his guidance the Cologne New Philharmonic orchestra has reached world-class level and has become world-wide famous for his distinct performance style and popular success.
Born in Cologne, Hartung began learning the violin and viola at the age of nine.
From 1972 to 1980 he studied viola and chamber music with Gerard Ruymen at the Cologne Conservatory as well as with the Amadeus Quartet, attended master classes with Rainer Moog, Gerard Caussé, Bruno Giuranna and Sandor Végh.
He was Principal Violist in the Klassische Philharmonie in Bonn from 1974 to 1980 and in the Rhenish Chamber Orchestra in Cologne. American scholarships enabled Hartung to study viola and conducting at the Juilliard School of Music in New York City with Ivan Galamian, Joseph Gingold, Margaret Pardee and the Juilliard Quartet from 1980 to 1982.
He continued his studies with Alan de Veritch, William Primrose's assistant at the California Institute of Arts in Los Angeles. There he was also a member of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra before returning to Germany to complete his studies with Sergiu Celibidache in Munich.
Volker Hartung has been Principal Conductor of the Junge Philharmonie Köln since 1986 and has appeared with the Orchestra at numerous International Music Festivals and concert tours throughout the world. Hartung has numerous appearances to his credit as a guest conductor at home and abroad and collaborates closely with the MDR broadcast orchestras, the St.Petersburg Symphony Orchestra and the Bulgarian Philharmonic Orchestra in Sofia as well as the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra. His several decades of experience as an independent manager of orchestras have taught him how to form music groups and make them financially viable in the face of various obstacles. Maestro Hartung is able to perform a very wide ranging, extremely rich repertoire that is unspecialized. He is flexible enough to switch smoothly to other genres, like film and light music.
In 2006 Hartung became Head of Orchestra Studies at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore.
Besides proceeding with his world-wide conducting and performance activities Hartung is teaching Orchestra Studies, Chamber Music and Conducting in Vienna, Austria.
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