Biography
The Kölner Akademie, in English the Cologne Academy, is a historical-performance ensemble based in Cologne, Germany. Strongly committed to the idea of authentic performance, they emphasize historically documented performance practices, try to approximate the number of performers a work would have had in its own time, and use editions of the music that come as close as possible to what composers themselves wrote down or intended. Despite, or perhaps because of, this specialist focus, the Kölner Akademie has had an unusually vigorous recording career, issuing more than 40 albums. The Kölner Akademie was founded in 1996 and has performed at major concert halls and festivals around the world, including in South America, Asia, and the Middle East. The group has an associated professional choir that joins them for vocal music performances and for recordings that have included world premieres of music by Francesco Durante, Johann Valentin Meder, Car Heinrich Graun, Johann Mattheson, Johann Friedrich Agricola, and Johann Wilhelm Hertel. Indeed, much of the group's recording activity has been devoted to lost or previously underexposed music, including Classical-era composers Bernhard Crusell, Franz Danzi, and Johann Wenzel Kalliwoda. The Kölner Akademie has recorded mostly for the Ars Produktion and CPO labels, with other albums appearing on the German labels Carus and Raumklang. In the 2010s they were signed to Sweden's BIS label and began a cycle of Mozart's piano concerts with fortepianist Ronald Brautigam; these recordings offered innovative, unorthodox readings grounded in evidence of historical practices. The Kölner Akademie is led by the American conductor Michael Alexander Willens, a Juilliard School graduate who studied with Leonard Bernstein. The group's recordings have garnered major awards such as an ECHO Klassik Prize for their recording of Johann Mattheson's Das größte Kind, and a Supersonic award for their album of Bernhard Romberg's symphonies. ~ James Manheim, Rovi



 
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Johann Balthasar Erben - Confitebor tibi Domine (Kölner Akademie)
Leipzig Metamorphosis: E. Silverstein, A. Nepomnyashchaya, M.A. Willens, Kölner Akademie
Kölner Akademie | Festiwal Goldbergowski 2020
Heinrich Schütz - Musikalisches Exequien
Kölner Akademie Bureau Zuidema jubileum
Beethoven - Eerste pianoconcert in C, op. 15 - Adagio - Kölner Akademie & Brautigam
Mozart: piano concerto no. 21. Brautigam, Kölner Akademie, Willens
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