Kölner Kammerorchester

Principal Conductor


What luck that the great anniversary season of the Cologne Chamber Orchestra coincides with the first season in which we may invite you again, hopefully without obstacles, to festive concerts in the Kölner Philharmonie! We look forward to working with great artists and to seeing you again!

In my firm belief in the unifying and peacemaking power of music, it seems all the more important to me in these times to allow ourselves to be inspired, inspired, comforted and blessed with many blissful experiences.

In what is now my 10th year as Artistic Director, and not least in the 100th year since the founding of the Cologne Chamber Orchestra, I look forward to many intense musical experiences with you!

Sincerely yours,
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.