event at Lanxess Arena


Music & Dance

As a music city, Cologne enjoys an international reputation - and that is, in particular, because music of all eras and styles is presented on a high, topical level, and also, because artistically fruitful encounters are also sought beyond traditional borders.

With over 400 events per year, the Philharmonie presents apart from the two inhouse orchestras, Gürzenich Orchestra and the WDR Symphony Orchestra of Cologne, world-famous orchestras, chamberensembles, choirs and soloists.

High-class jazz and ex-perimental music find an audience in the »Stadtgarten« and at other scene nightspots - also often accompanied here by the cameras and microphones of those radio and TV stations which are based and produced in Cologne: in addition to WDR, there are also RTL, VOX, Deutschlandfunk and Deutsche Welle (the Voice of Germany) as well as the local radio stations, Radio Köln and RPR.

In the popular music scene, Kölsch rock - especially through the ground-breaking success of the group BAP - has for almost two decades become a trademark, under which many young groups are now forming and etxperimenting with new things.

...more about Cologne Music Night

Music City Cologne

Kölner Philharmonie




Classical Music

With its Philharmony, the Opera, the Lanxess Arena und the Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), Cologne presents itself as an Eldorado for lovers of classical music. Providing 9 courses of study, the Cologne Academy of Music has an excellent reputation and hosts 3 international music competitions.

The powerfully pulsating heart of this Cologne music culture, is the philharmonic hall built in the cathedral mound, which seats 2.000 people. Since its opening in 1986, it has become one of the leading international concert halls. With over 400 events per year, it presents apart from the two inhouse orchestras, Gürzenich Orchestra and the WDR Symphony Orchestra of Cologne, world-famous orchestras, chamber ensembles, choirs and soloists. The large, modern opera house offers a complete repertoire with works of classical and romantic opera literature as well as remarkable contemporary works.

The large, modern opera house offers a complete repertoire with works of classical and romantic opera literature as well as remarkable contemporary works. In recent years general director and chief conductor Markus Stenz caused a furore when performing Richard Wagner‘s complete »Ring«-Trilogy in only two days. For years Cologne has been a centre for old music. For a long time the Forum Alte Musik in the chamber music hall of the Deutschlandfunks has become an international brand mark.

There is hardly any other city with a programme of church music as broad and frequant as in Cologne.: In the 12 Roman and all other catholic and protestant churches, you can choose from more than a dozen events a week.
Cologne is also home of a vibrant free music scene with many groups, choires, and music initiatives.



It is not without reason that Cologne is considered a jazz city. What began 20 years ago in obscure cellars somewhere, is now an established music scene, which can be proud of a whole range of initiatives and diverse concerts in the cathedral city.
Jazz for the wider public is offered by the Cologne Philharmonie within the scope of its normal concert programme; all genres from classical to experimental jazz can be heard at the events in the college of music.

Jazz enthusiasts will find the very best in »Stadtgarten«, in the intimate »Subway«, and other scene spots - often accompanied by the cameras and microphones of the broadcasters producing in Cologne: especially WDR, as well as RTL, VOX, Deutschlandradio, and also the local broadcasters Radio Köln, and RPR.
When the weather is good, several Cologne pubs and restaurants offer live music on their terraces or in their beer gardens. The Hyatt Regency, for example, holds a regular jazz event on Sunday mornings.

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Music City Cologne






From the middle of the nineties, Cologne has got a new landmark: The Musical Dome has been errected in 1996 as a tent membrane construction between the central station and the Rhine.

First location for the musical »Gaudí«, it successfully presented the Bee Gees´classical »Saturday Night Fever« till June 2002, hosting more than 1 million visitors. The next special stage production was »Jekyll & Hyde – the musical«. Another attraction, »We will rock you«, started in December 2004 and was here to stay till September 2008. The year 2009 brought the Monty Python musical »Spamalot« to the city.

But the Musical Dome is not the only location for musicals in Cologne:
In the end of 2006, »Gaudí« returned for a couple of days, though in the Palladium. Every spring, the Lanxess Arena presents »Best of Musical« - a compilation of the most famous musical hits and in the summer, there are musical events in the Cologne Philharmony. Between October 2006 and March 2007, there has been a children´s musical titled »Käpt´n Blaubär« for a popular cartoon developed by the German TV.


Pop, Rock, Reggae, Electronic

About 30 years ago, the »Bläck Fööss« (who continue to enjoy high popularity), and later also groups such as »Höhner« and »Paveier«, helped the easily singable Cologne dialect to achieve a true renaissance even outside Carnival. In pop music, Cologne rock has been a trade mark for almost two decades, primarily thanks to the trailblazing success of the group »BAP«.

Also trend scenes such as hip hop and house/techno are alive and kicking in Cologne. Whether Rolling Stones or Tina Turner in the Rheinenergie Stadium, whether the hip hop and house parties in Studio 672 at »Stadtgarten« or the Rockpalast Festivals in »E-Werk« all genres of popular music are represented in Cologne.

New and unique to Germany is the Popdom: In this centre for pop culture in space of 1,100 square metres, there are, among other things, a design collection, an archive with magazines, books, and a comprehensive pop video collection with 10,000 titles.
Since 1998, the Lanxess Arena, Germany's largest event hall directly alongside the exhibition centre, has opened up a new dimension on the German music and show scene. The multifunctional event forum offers space for over 18,000 visitors. More than 100 events per year promise a full programme with superstars, major international music, show, and sporting events, and numerous television productions.

In summer, in particular, the »Tanzbrunnen«, as well as various beer gardens attract visitors with swinging live music, for example the »Küppers Biergarten«, the terrace at the Hyatt Hotel, with a wonderful view of the Cologne skyline, or the KD ships with musical tours on the Rhine.


Where's music there's people dancing: Cologne has a lot to offer in this field too. The German dance archive is an information, documentation and research centre for dance which emerged from the collections (since 1948) of dancer and teacher Kurt Peters and, in 1985, of the cultural foundation of the city bank (Sparkasse KölnBonn).
The Mary Wigman society offers study of artistic dance in its historical and contemporary forms. The Landesbüro Tanz of North Rhine Westfalia offers support from institutions, dance groups, dancers and choreographers, organises exhibitions, seminars, lectures and performances.
MultiArt is another important institution in Cologne: Courses, workshops and further training in the study of movement, Butoh dance and free dance based on dance of expression can be booked here. Additionally there's a venue for dance and theatrical performances and productions.

...more about German Dance Archive