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Werner Ehrhardt (Artistic Director)

The violinist and conductor Werner Ehrhardt, a native of Cologne, is a constant presence on the international stage as a conductor. He studied period performance practice under Prof. Franz-Josef Maier (Cologne), Sigiswald Kuijken (Brussels), as well as conducting under Prof. Bloemeke in Detmold.

His perpetual inquisitiveness and his keen interest for the various approaches to music led him to further intensive studies under the teacher Kato Havas in Oxford and Prof. Renate Peter in Cologne.

From 1985 to 2005, he directed the world-renowned chamber orchestra Concerto Köln, developing and shaping distinct style in rendering period performance practices.

In 2004, he founded the orchestra l‘arte del mondo, while also working with traditional orchestras as a freelance conductor. Ever since then, he has guested with several international opera, symphony, and chamber orchestras such as the Staatsopernorchester Stuttgart, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the Berner Sinfonieorchester, the Hamburger Sinfoniker, the Stuttgarter Kammerorchester, the Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss, the Orchestre de Chambre de Genève, and the Capriccio Basel.

He has worked with soloists like Edita Gruberová, Magdalena Kožená, Barbara Hendricks, Christine Schäfer, Eva Mei, Andreas Scholl, Olli Mustonen, Christiane Oelze, Xavier de Maistre, Daniel Hope, Viktoria Mullova, Daniel Müller-Schott, the RIAS Kammerchor, and the Bad Tölz Boys‘ Choir. Through his openness for innovations, his artistic curiosity, his infectious enthusiasm and his musical cosmopolitanism in working with orchestras, Werner Ehrhardt captivates his musicians, the audience, and the press. As a conductor, he represents a distinct, unmistakably historically schooled interpretation of orchestral and vocal works, with his interests reaching beyond the horizons of Western European music.

Accordingly, under his direction, more than 50 CDs have been recorded in the fields of opera, oratorio and concertante-symphonic music, many of which have been honoured with numerous international awards. Among the recordings, one can find re-discoveries of works by forgotten composers (eg Joseph Martin Kraus, Pasquale Anfossi, Josef Myslivecek, and Franz Xaver Sterkel), of which the audiences were made aware again with great enthusiasm.

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