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 concert and via digital projects they set standards in the interpretation of musical works. With numerous compositions, new editions and arrangements they cover the current aesthetic trends in the world of music. WDR Music Education caters especially to children and teenagers and introduces them to the world of classical and jazz music.
With around 100 live and studio performances produced annually, orchestra, choir and big band develop new programme resources for radio (particularly WDR 3, WDR 4 and WDR 5) and television.
The programme mandate is also fulfilled by performing numerous concerts in the transmission region with regular broadcasts. The four WDR ensembles are among the largest concert organizers in North Rhine-Westphalia, annually scheduling around 200 concerts and a further 100 events for children and teenagers. They thus make a major contribution to the musical and cultural landscape in this federal state.
The two orchestras, the big band and the choir, the 'KreativLab' and a coordination unit make up the main department Orchestra and Choir. 235 musicians onstage 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
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: Sebastian König
Sebastian König wird neuer Manager des WDR Sinfonieorchesters
WDR Radio Choir
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 and Editor: Carola Anhalt
Carola Anhalt - Managerin WDR Rundfunkchor
WDR Funkhaus Orchestra
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
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, it generates pure energy with with outstanding musical personalities.
Orchestra Manager/Producer: Arnd Richter
WDR Music Education
WDR Music Education wants 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: everybody will find an offer thats suits their needs.
Editor: Mirjam von Jarzebowski and Julia Brück
Mirjam von Jarzebowski
The KreativLab serves as brand management and editorial department for the WDR ensembles. The team develops and produces season bruchures and concert programmes as well as content and special digital projects for the four ensembles' websites and numerous social media channels. Customer relationship management, the development of marketing campaigns as well as the music education are also based in the KreativLab.
Head of KreativLab: Barbara Franck
The Central Coordination Office manages numerous processes relating to the concert and seasonal operations of the four ensembles. These include the operations office and stage managers, who ensure that rehearsals and concert logistics run smoothly, as well as the piano studio, where WDR instruments are kept in perfect condition. Central Coordination is also responsible for numerous personnel issues for the entire main department.
Head of Central Coordination: Patricia Just