Kölner Kammerorchester

Principal Conductor


These difficult times, caused by the pandemic, have made it even more clear, how important music is for all of us. In my work, I have always felt encouraged through the conscience, that music is much more than entertainment – it is something like spiritual nutrition, for everyone who is open for it.

I feel happy and privileged to regularly perform in Cologne Philharmonie with my highly motivated Cologne Chamber Orchestra for an enthusiastic audience, and grateful that music sometimes takes us together around the world.

My gratitude goes to all who make this possible – by supporting our work, by working for us backstage, or especially by listening to our concerts. Let's hope for many unforgettable musical encounters!

One of our great projects for the next years is the complete recording of all Mozart masses. May it be an Omen, that on the very last day before the great lockdown in March 2020 we were recording a DONA NOBIS PACEM...
Christoph Poppen

From the start of his conducting career, Christoph Poppen established an international reputation for innovative programming and commitment to contemporary music. A frequent guest conductor, he has appeared with the Bamberger Symphoniker, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Staatskapelle Dresden, Wiener Symphoniker, Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France, Detroit and Indianapolis symphony orchestras, Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, New Japan Philharmonic, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg and at the Biennale in Venice.

During the current season, Christoph Poppen continues his close and highly successful collaborations with the Kölner Kammerorchester in his role as Principal Conductor and as Principal Guest Conductor of Hong Kong Sinfonietta. He will make his conducting debuts with Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and Residentie Orkest, and will return to the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, Orchestre de Pays de Savoie and Bilkent Symphony Orchestra.

As an opera conductor, he very successfully led a new production of Die Entführung aus dem Serail at the Aalto Theatre in Essen and performances of Gluck’s Iphigénie en Aulide at Staatsoper Stuttgart. In 2016 he returned to the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa for a new production of Don Giovanni. He conducted performances of Les pêcheurs de perles at Oper Frankfurt – which led to an immediate re-invitation for Die Zauberflöte – and created the new production of Sing For Me, Death by composer Claude Vivier with the RuhrTriennale company in Gelsenkirchen. In 2017 he conducted Weber’s Oberon in concert version at Opera Köln.

Over the years, Christoph Poppen has held a number of significant Directorship positions in Germany. From 1995 to 2006, he was Artistic Director of the Münchener Kammerorchester, establishing the ensemble’s new profile in a short period of time. His unmistakable programmes, based on a contrast of classical and contemporary music with numerous commissioned works, met with huge success. In August 2006, he was appointed Music Director of the Radio Symphony Orchestra Saarbrücken, and from 2007 until 2011, he was the Music Director of the newly formed Deutsche Radiophilharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern. He is now Artistic Director of the highly successful International Festival in Marvão, Portugal, which he founded in 2014.

Christoph Poppen was appointed professor of violin and chamber music at the Hochschule für Musik in Detmold, and later at the Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik in Berlin, where he was President from 1996 through 2000. From 2001 through to 2005, Christoph Poppen was Artistic Director of the renowned ARD International Music Competition. Since 2003, Christoph Poppen has held a post as professor for violin and chamber music at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich.