The Kölner Philharmony

Since 1986 the Kölner Philharmonie has been an integral part of Europe's music scene. One reason for such prominence is the variety of the concert programmes, which comprise the great works of the symphonic and chamber music repertoire, jazz sessions, folk and pop events, and the world and Cologne premiéres of lesser known, new and exotic works.

Another reason is the unique atmosphere prevailing in the exquisitely beautiful concert hall which has been designed in the style of an amphitheatre.

Concerts are held almost daily here and up to two or three on Sundays and public holidays.

What takes your fancy? Top-notch symphonic music? Scintillating chamber creations with the outstanding ensembles? Virtuoso soloists, dramatic opera, high-end jazz or a kaleidoscope of world music? It's all happening at the Kölner Philharmonie.

Philharmonie in Stichworten

  • Intendant

    Louwrens Langevoort

    Louwrens Langevoort ©KölnMusik/Jörn Neumann

    Louwrens Langevoort
    Artistic and managing director and CEO of KölnMusik GmbH


    Following completion of his law studies in 1981, Louwrens Langevoort began his professional career as artistic PR manager, before assuming the post of director of the department of artistic management at the Brussels Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie under Gerard Mortier. After heading up Arts and Repertoire for one year at Philips Classics, he was appointed director of the artistic management department at the Salzburg Festival. In 1991 he became director of artistic production at the Leipzig Opera House, before switching to the post of head of artistic management at the City of Cologne Opera House in 1993. In 1994 Louwrens Langevoort was appointed Intendant, then in 1995 managing director of the Dutch National Reisopera. Backed by state subsidies totalling 5.6 million euro, he set about reorganising the opera company, introducing a repertoire of between six to eight productions and staging some 90 performances across the major Dutch cities each season. With the opening of the 2000/2001 season, Louwrens Langevoort took up the position as managing and artistic director of the Hamburg State Opera. Providing the house with new artistic impulses and direction, he continued the successful tradition of the Hamburg Opera: The key programmatic highlights of his tenure lay in championing modern opera and reviving old works. In addition to nurturing the repertoire, Louwrens Langevoort also staged the highly successful cycle of Baroque operas in 2001, developed the children‘s opera series "Opera piccola" and promoted young talent with the International Opera Studio and budding young composers as part of the Composers’ Workshop, which he launched in 2001. In 2004 and 2005, Louwrens Langevoort also served as consultant to the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin.

    Louwrens Langevoort took up his posts as Intendant of the Kölner Philharmonie, CEO of KölnMusik GmbH and General Artistic Director of the EIGHT BRIDGES | Music for Cologne festival at the start of the 2005/2006 season. His objective is to maintain and further enhance the musical output of the Kölner Philharmonie, whose quality and diversity are internationally recognised. Through projects like PhilharmonieLunch, PhilharmonieVeedel and, he has succeeded in attracting sought-after audience segments such as young professionals and young families, offering them special, tailor-made events inside and outside the concert hall.

    Thanks to Langevoort's unrelenting commitment, Cologne has gained a new annual festival. After the Cologne MusikTriennale came to an end in 2010, the EIGHT BRIDGES | Music for Cologne festival, which celebrates modern music, has been staged every year since 2011 at the beginning of May.

    In December 2018 Langevoort's contract as Intendant of the Kölner Philharmonie was extended for a third time, enabling him to help shape and be part of Cologne's musical life until the end of July 2025.

    Moreover Langevoort initiated a festival dedicated to historically informed performance: During the FEL!X festival at the beginning of each season musicians perform compositions from the early music to the contemporary and play it like it was intended to be played by the composer, using original instruments.

  • Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board

    Henriette Reker
    Mayoress of the City of Cologne

  • Inaugural Concert of the Kölner Philharmonie

    14. September 1986

  • Architects

    Peter Busmann
    Godfrid Haberer

  • Hall Capacity

    Around 2,000 people

  • Equipment

    Grand concert organ with 70 stops constructed and installed by the Bonn-based organ-maker Johannes Klais, as a spatial sculpture

  • Concert series and subscription concerts per Season

    around 50

  • Concerts per Year

    around 400

  • Patrons per Year

    around 650 000

  • Concert Promoters

    KölnMusik GmbH,
    Westdeutscher Rundfunk,
    Gürzenich-Orchester Köln,
    Arbeitskreis Kölner Chöre,
    BB Promotion,
    Westdeutsche Konzertdirektion Köln,
    Konzert Theater Kontor Heinersdorff GmbH,
    Kölner Kammerorchester, Kontrapunkt-Konzerte u.a.

  • Ticket Sales

    Philharmonie Hotline:
    +49.221/280 280

    Konzertkasse der Kölner Philharmonie
    Kurt-Hackenberg-Platz / Bechergasse, 50667 Köln
    (gegenüber der Kölner Philharmonie)

  • Resident Orchestra

    WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne
    chief conductor: Cristian Măcelaru
    Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne
    chief conductor: François-Xavier Roth

  • Total Number of Concerts

    The 6000th concert since the inception of the Kölner Philharmonie took place on 26 April 2003
    the 6,666 concert on the 26 February 2005
    the 7000th concert on 14 February 2006
    the 7,777 concert on the 21 March 2008
    the 8,000th concert on the 15 November 2008
    the 10,000th concert on 31 December 2013
    the 11,111th concert on 9 November 2016.

  • Aggregate Attendance

    The 1,000,000th patron was welcomed through our doors in 12.1988,
    the 5,000,000th in 07.1995,
    the 6,000,000th on 20.01.1997
    the 7,000,000th patron on 21.08.1998
    the 8,000,000th patron on 28.02.2000
    the 9,000,000th patron on 6.12.2001
    the 10,000,000th patron on 24.09.2003
    the 11,000,000th patron on 22.05.2005
    the 12,000,000th patron on 24.04.2007
    the 13,000,000th patron on 01.04.2009
    the 14,000,000th patron on 11.12.2010
    the 15,000,000th patron on 06.09.2012
    the 16,000,000th patron on 14.04.2014
    the 18,000,000th patron on 17.01.2018.

  • Exhibitions in the foyer

    Prior to the concerts and during the intermission, patrons have the opportunity of visiting - free of charge - the permanently changing exhibitions staged in the foyer of the Kölner Philharmonie, which serve as a complement to, and indeed a commentary on, the scheduled concerts. The spectrum of the exhibitions embraces documentations on composers and musical personalities, grants vivid insights into behind the scenes of concert life and shows collections of instruments. Information on the current exhibitions can be obtained from our News (only in German).

  • Jahresabschlüsse