ColLAB Cologne

The ensemble ColLAB Cologne was founded by students of the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln out of enthusiasm for new forms of contemporary music, as part of the appointment of Susanne Blumenthal as Professor of Interpretation/Ensemble Practice New Music. The musicians see themselves as an open collective that expands the ensemble concept towards other art forms to enable new listening experiences. One of the goals is to attract new audiences for contemporary music.

They aim to overcome narrow genre boundaries and mediate between the various departments of the university, always in search of progressive, individual musical languages, while never losing sight of the traditional context of contemporary music. In addition to maintaining a contemporary repertoire at the highest level, ColLAB Cologne is committed to alternative and experimental performance practices at the intersection of performance, improvisation, and the interpretation of composed music.

ColLAB Cologne becomes a place of boundary-crossing, experiments, and unforeseen connections. The instrumentalists of the ensemble are united by exceptional virtuosity on their respective instruments, as well as by their great musical curiosity and willingness to experiment, which shapes the specific and outstanding ensemble sound.

In its first semester of existence, ColLAB Cologne won the ensemble prize for the best interpretation of a world premiere at the prestigious Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy University Competition in Berlin in January 2022. In July 2022, they performed Helmut Lachenmann’s work “…zwei Gefühle…” at the highest level. In 2023, ColLAB Cologne shone with György Ligeti’s Piano Concerto (soloist: Pierre-Laurent Aimard) at the Klavier-Festival Ruhr and with six world premieres at the Moers Festival. In this way, ColLAB Cologne becomes a vibrant ambassador of the Institute for New Music within and outside the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln.