The Gürzenich Orchestra of Cologne (Gürzenich Orchester Köln) is one of Germany's major symphony orchestras and one of two important orchestras with headquarters in the western German city of Cologne (the other is the West German Radio Symphony Orchestra). It is a venerable group that gave the premieres of a number of major works in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Gürzenich Orchestra of Cologne traces its origins to a Musikalische Gesellschaft (Musical Company) of the middle 18th century, which mounted one of continental Europe's first independent concert series. This organization re-formed after the Napoleonic Wars and, in 1827, established a Concert-Gesellschaft that organized a new orchestra and concert series. In 1840, the group hired composer and conductor Ferdinand Hiller as city kapellmeister (music director); he ...
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