More than 100 events, spread throughout the city, across all denominational boundaries: around a thousand singers, instrumentalists and organists present concerts and many other events for a good two weeks.
"The vast majority of concerts are free admission – that's only possible because many people are so committed and creative in their cooperation."Wilfried Kaets is the project manager of the church music festival and is proud of the low ticket prices. The festival gives subsidies for elaborate concerts with choir and orchestra, otherwise mainly the organ concerts are free admission.
Choral music a cappella and with orchestra
Especially choir friends get their money's worth – especially at the long choir night. There are 5 hours of choral music in the Trinitatiskirche on Heumarkt with works by Johannes Brahms, Max Reger, Maurice Durufe and Johann Sebastian Bach.
The range of works performed at the church music festival combines November funeral music with Advent and Christmas music – in keeping with the festival's motto "Die and Become. This is also the title of the musical city tour, one of the highlights of the festival. Behind it is a walk with city guide Gunther Leitner and four short concerts in downtown Cologne. One station is the site of the collapse of the Cologne City Archive.
Hands-on activities for children
The city's Protestant and Catholic choir directors and organists work closely together, and not only in the city tour. Those responsible for the festival are also unanimous: "We don't want to make culture in an ivory tower, but for everyone! That's why we offer many concerts for families, for children," explains Wolf Rudiger Spieler. He is the organizational director of the Trinity Church. So-called gallery visits take young listeners very close to the mighty organs in the churches, where they can then take a close look at the "Queen of Instruments". There are also family workshops on the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Start in Cologne cathedral with 900 singers
Concerts are spread throughout the city at the two-week festival. Sometimes quite intimate in a small setting to a large-scale concert with choir and orchestra. Rather gigantic is the opening of the festival this Friday. The ecumenical Evensong in Cologne Cathedral – which is a special kind of evening prayer – features around 900 singers from 30 choirs in Cologne. It starts on 18.11.2016 at 8 p.m., admission is free. The festival lasts until 4. December, there are more than 100 concerts in total.