WDR Orchestras and Choir
The WDR Symphony Orchestra, the WDR Funkhaus Orchestra, the WDR Radio Choir and the WDR Big Band are among the most renowned musical ensembles in Germany. Live in concerts and multi-medially they set standards in the interpretation of musical works. With numerous compositions, orders for editing and new arrangements they cover the current aesthetic trends in the world of music. With WDR Music Education, in particular, children and teenagers are introduced to the theme of music.
With around 100 live and studio performances produced annually, the orchestras and the choir develop new programme resources on radio (particularly WDR 3, WDR 4 and WDR 5) and on television.
The fulfilment of the programme mandate also includes the concerts in the transmission region, which are always broadcast. With around 200 concerts and a further 100 appearances for children and teenagers, the four WDR ensembles are among the largest concert organizers in North Rhine-Westphalia. They thus make a major contribution to the music culture in this federal state.
The two orchestras, the big band and the choir as well as the "Markenführung Klangkörper" (Ensemble Brand Management) department make up the main department Orchestra and Choir. 235 musicians on the stage as well as 45 full-time and freelance employees behind the scenes, ensure that all performances run smoothly.
Management of the main department: Dr. Christoph Stahl
Deputy Manager: Patricia Just
Dr. Christoph Stahl
WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne
The WDR Symphony Orchestra is the leading orchestra for NRW and a preferred partner of the most renowned conductors and soloists. With symphonic music of an exceptional quality and innovative projects, it creates thrilling experiences and allows audiences to experience first-class classical music in North Rhine-Westphalia and on international platforms.
Orchestra Manager: Siegwald Bütow
WDR Radio Choir Cologne
The WDR Radio Choir is NRW's professional choir. With the best trained voices and an extensive repertoire it creates moving and inspiring moments of the highest standard. With innovative programmes, events and projects, it generates an interest in choral music and these communicates the pure joy of singing.
Choir Manager: Carola Anhalt
Carola Anhalt - Managerin WDR Rundfunkchor
WDR Funkhaus Orchestra Cologne
The WDR Funkhaus Orchestra presents great entertainment of the highest musical quality - from operetta to film music, from popular classics to Dubstep. With well-known melodies, fascinating artists and innovative projects, it entertains a large audience from young to old.
Orchestra Manager and Editor: Corinna Rottschy
WDR Big Band Cologne
The WDR Big Band is the world class jazz band from Cologne. With enthusiasm, virtuosity and an unmistakable sound, with exciting cooperations, from jazz greats to pop stars, it excites its audiences. Popular worldwide, at home in North Rhine-Westphalia, with strong musical personalities it generates pure energy.
Orchestra Manager/Producer: Friederike Darius
WDR Music Education
With WDR Music Education we want to fill children, teenagers and adults - no matter whether concert beginners or already concert fans - with enthusiasm for classical music and jazz. From opportunities to join in at concerts via workshops right through to joint appearances with our musicians, whether in the WDR Funkhaus (Broadcasting Centre), Cologne's Philharmonie or directly in kindergartens or schools: here everybody is sure to find the suitable offer.
Editor: Mirjam von Jarzebowski
Mirjam von Jarzebowski
The objective of the Markenführung Klangkörper department, across all ensembles, is to further develop general tasks and projects and to realize the cultural and educational mandate of the WDR in the sense of an efficient and sustainable acquisition of new, particularly young groups of listeners. Its activities cover the areas of dramaturgy, Internet/digital media, brand management, music promotion, internal communications and piano technique.
Head of department: Patricia Just