25 years of Ohrenauf!

For everyone!

Music moves. Music inspires. Music connects.

We realise that many people have no contact with classical music in their everyday lives. And we want to change that. That's why we have Ohrenauf!, the music education programme of the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne. With this programme, we open our doors to everyone. We let people look over our shoulders while we play. We explain, we show, we share our music. Everyone can join in. We go out of the concert hall to the people. To the young, the old, to everyone. And 25 years of Ohrenauf! show that we also reach people who have never had any contact with classical music before. Our programmes are aimed at schools, kindergartens, senior citizens and families. We offer interactive concerts, rehearsal visits, workshops and much more - discover the beauty and joy of music with us.

Musizieren bedeutet für mich teilen – über alle Generationen hinweg und ganz unabhängig vom Hintergrund der Personen. Die Musik ist unser gemeinsamer Treffpunkt, und wir alle profitieren voneinander.

François-Xavier Roth

Out into the city, into life!

Who doesn't know Cologne's Hänneschen theatre? Like the Gürzenich Orchestra, it's a truly Cologne institution. In the Ohrenauf! anniversary year, these two greats of Cologne's cultural landscape are joining forces for a joint production. But not on the big stage, but down-to-earth in the community centre around the corner. This is how we bring the music and the Cologne spirit directly into the local neighbourhoods and to the people. We belong to Cologne and Cologne belongs to us. Hence our motto: out of the concert hall, into the city, into real life. Because music is a door opener and a bridge for so many things: for feelings, joy, community, culture, education - simply for life.

That's why our out-and-about-concerts are a matter close to our hearts. We share our passion for music above all with people who do not yet or no longer come to the Philharmonie. Chamber ensembles from the Gürzenich Orchestra make their way to kindergartens and residential facilities for senior citizens in Cologne to make music, sing together and simply experience music together.

At home in the Philharmonie

In the middle of the orchestra, in the middle of the music: in our home, the Kölner Philharmonie. Music can do so much, and we want everyone to be able to experience it. Music works intuitively and is a valuable experience, especially for children and young people: it awakens emotions, strengthens concentration and self-confidence and boosts the feeling of belonging. At our school concerts, we therefore open our doors and allow our young guests to dive deep into the Gürzenich Orchestra cosmos. We show, we explain, we make music and we bring music to life as a communal, emotional experience.

But we have not only created  very special experiences for schools, we also invite families to the Philharmonie. With our specially designed family concerts, the family subscription and the family ticket, we make music an experience for young and old.

Classical Music unlimited

Classical music and rap? It might not fit into the same box - but that's what makes it so exciting! We think about music very broadly and in connection with a wide variety of styles and artists. It's about music - but also always about our city. Familiar boundaries and roles dissolve and new things emerge. In the piece Melting pot, the large Gürzenich Orchestra meets Cologne performers from the fields of rap, DJ, poetry slam, beatboxing and breakdancing. Together we show what moves the melting pot that is Cologne. It is particularly important to us to open up the project to everyone: In workshops in schools and youth centres, young adults can actively shape the creation of the concert together with the artists.

Music made from plastic bottles, old metal parts or empty coffee capsules? Of course, because sounds and rhythms can be found in every everyday object. Everyone involved in the " Drum roll" school and family concerts can share this experience: Here, we not only rethink music, but also link it to an important social issue - with a drum roll for a sustainable world.

The orchestra face to face

Who are we? What moves us, what drives us? We don't just want to be a collective that makes music for our audience, we also want to be approachable as people. We want to dissolve the boundary between stage and audience. Because that's the best way to pass on our enthusiasm. Children and young people are particularly important to us. And how could a young audience experience more directly how music is created than in direct contact with the artists? Whether at rehearsal visits, in schools, at workshops or Meet & Greets: Our musicians, soloists, conductors and composers show, explain and tell, personally and eye-to-eye. Young people can ask their questions about concerts and everyday life as a musician, try out an instrument themselves, express themselves creatively and feel the power of music directly.

Everyone is welcome

With the Citizens' Orchestra and the Citizens' Choir, we reach out to the people of this city and invite them to make music with us. 

Citizens' orchestra - play with us!

What a feeling to sit on stage yourself as part of the big orchestra! Any music enthusiast with an instrument can join the citizens' orchestra and prepare for a very special concert experience together with the professionals of the Gürzenich Orchestra. What counts for us is the joy of music and the shared experience. At the end of the concert, they perform together with François-Xavier Roth on the stage of the Philharmonie - an unforgettable experience.

Citizens' choir - Sing with us!

Singing is pure joy - especially together with others. And even more so with an orchestra in the Philharmonie! We would like to share this impressive experience and that's why we have the Citizens' Choir. The community choir is open to anyone who likes to sing and, of course, enjoys music. François-Xavier Roth rehearses with the singers with enthusiasm, fun and respect. The finale of this musical journey is the concert by the citizens' choir and the Gürzenich Orchestra in the Philharmonie.

Experience culture together

Concert pals

It is important to us that our concerts are open to everyone - including people who are not (or no longer) able to attend the Philharmonie on their own. That's why we have concert pals. With this initiative, we bring together music lovers who would like to be accompanied on their way to a concert with people who would like to get involved. The joy of music brings people together, they share the experience of an enjoyable evening at a concert. And it is not uncommon for new friendships to develop from the musical hours spent together.

GO Museum

Parents to a concert, children to a museum - it's possible! With our new offer for families, which we have created together with the next-door museum: While the parents attend a concert at the Philharmonie, the children can experience an exciting workshop at the Museum Ludwig. This way, we link Cologne's cultural institutions and enable an uncomplicated cultural excursion for the whole family.


We are celebrating 25 years of Ohrenauf!, which means 25 years of music education projects for people of all ages: rehearsal visits, concerts on the road, workshops and hands-on activities - Ohrenauf! offers many different ways to get to know and discover music.

We also want to show what Ohrenauf! does in our symphony concerts. That's why we've come up with something special: At chosen symphony concerts in the Ohrenauf! anniversary, there will be a sweet, a little surprise before, during or after the concert. We won't reveal exactly what will happen - only that the treat will be designed by a different target group each time. So keep your eyes and ears open and celebrate 25 years of music for everyone with us!

scroll top