The Music of Hector Berlioz

Our focus this season is on the music of Hector Berlioz. He was born more than 200 years ago and died 150 years ago, and he is still a musician with potential: »In his day he was an avantgarde, experimental composer. An artist who still surprises us today. It’s time we get to know him better«, Gürzenich Principal Conductor François-Xavier Roth thinks. You can get to know five ground-breaking works by the musical pioneer this season, bearing the marks of different conducting styles: L’enfance du Christ at the Cathedral Concert conducted by François-Xavier Roth, the concert overture Le corsaire with the young conductor Elim Chan, the overture Les francs-juges and Harold en Italie with the Berlioz specialist Sylvain Cambreling and Antoine Tamestit (viola), as well as the Symphonie fantastique to kick off the season, presented by François-Xavier Roth himself. In the Cologne Opera as well, François-Xavier Roth and the Gürzenich Orchestra can be heard with Berlioz: the opéra comique Béatrice et Bénédict is premiered this season.

The music of Hector Berlioz was played a lot in Cologne, and the Gürzenich Kapellmeister Ferdinand Hiller (1811-1885) once succeeded in enticing him to the Rhine to a concert with his orchestra. Patrick Hahn, the artistic administrator of the Gürzenich Orchestra, follows the traces the composer left in Cologne and the Rhineland in his essay »Ein leuchtender Komet – Berlioz in Köln.

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