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July 2003 - Nr. 7


The Editor
Elizabeth Kuehn
Brahms Violin Concerto
Rachel Seilern
Multiculturalism Day
Hier O.K. Berlin!
KW and Beyond
A Gift of Music
STV Weiss-Blau Bayern
Dance Experience
German School
Young Philharmony
Willkommen in Toronto
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Diefenbaker Award
Financial Advice
CeBIT America
German Peace Prize
June 17 Uprising

Volker Hartung - Junge Philharmonie Köln (JPK)

by Herwig Wandschneider

Herwig Wandschneider

As part of a Southern and Eastern Ontario and Québec Tour, the Junge Philharmonie Köln gave a concert at the Sacred Heart Church on Shanley Street in Kitchener on Monday, June 23.

Seven superb musicians with exceptional coordination, and an ability to draw everything their instruments had to give, performed a concert to remember. Personally, I am partial to Vivaldi’s "The Four Seasons" and "Sinfonia No 2 in D Major" as well as Mozart’s Concerto in A Major, and the exceptio7 top performers of the Junge Philharmonie Kölnnal precision and clarity presented by Clarinetist Miltos Mumulides and Concert Master Attila Sautov. And while I was somewhat afraid of the acoustics, it turned out that for this size of Chamber Orchestra and the instrumentation used, the acoustics were ideal.

We were awarded with one encore due to the sustained applause and standing ovation. There could have been more…

In the archives of Volker Hartung, Artistic Director since 1986 and chief conductor of the New Cologne Philharmonia Orchestra today, the concert of this group will be memorable in a somewhat less pleasant way. Where was the audience? Some measly 70 people attended this extraordinary event, when easily 400 would have normally been expected. Not just in Kitchener, but - as Volker Hartung expressed with enormous disappointment - it was the same everywhere in Southern Ontario to this point. "Are people in Québec perhaps more interested than Ontarions in cultural events like this?" he asked. "We have drawn more people in a small town of 35,000 in the middle of the dessert in Australia, than we have in any one of the cities in Southern Ontario so far".

He certainly has the reference points. The Chamber Orchestra of the New Philharmonic Orchestra of Cologne was founded in 1976. It consists of gifted young players from around the world drawn from the most important German conservatories, who have released 12 television programs and recorded numerous CD’s. Soloists of this group have performed in nearly 250 concerts per year around the world. In the last 18 years they have given 4000 concerts.

The promoter, who traveled with the group was devastated. "There are posters all over town, in shops and restaurants. The K-W Chamber Music Society has sent e-mails to more than 400 addresses, we have placed announcements in the local press, distributed posters to the Clubs and personally visited the Schwaben Club. What more can we do?" "Did they notice anyone buying tickets or CD’s speak German" I asked. "Not a single soul" was the response. Neither had I.

The group had 4 more performances to give in Ontario and 8 in Québec. With superb performers originating from all over the world and carefully selected from conservatories across Germany you would certainly expect more appreciation than they experienced here in Kitchener. I cannot help but feel though that, at least in K-W, marketing also has somewhat "fehl-gezündet".


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