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The Kölner Bürgerchor


The idea

Cologne is a musical city. And we, the Orchestra of the City of Cologne, are eager to make music with you! This wish was fulfilled for the first time in the 2022/23 season. Two special projects brought together a choir with powerful voices that are as colourful and diverse as our city: the
»Citizens’ choir«.


Together with the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne under the direction of François-Xavier Roth, the »Citizens’ choir« opened the 2022/23 season with Beethovens 9th Symphony: »Freude schöner Götterfunken«. But this project was not to be the only one. Shortly before Christmas, on 18 December 2022, the large choir came together again to perform the »Wish List Concert« together with the orchestra, in which the audience had previously chosen the concert programme and could look forward to singing together.


In this mini-series, we follow the the rehearsals, talk to conductors, singers and organizers and gain an insight into this impressive project.

Episode 1

Anticipation of the festive concert »Drunk with fire«

In the first episode we accompany the singers of the Kölner Bürgerchor during the first rehearsals for the project »Drunk with fire« with Beethoven's 9th Symphony.

Episode 2

On the Big Stage

The singers of the Bürgerchor meet the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne and François-Xavier Roth for the first time. The venue for the rehearsals is now no longer the university, but the Kölner Philharmonie. The tension is rising and the anticipation of the performance on the big stage is growing.

Episode 3

A festival of joy

The day of the big season opening has come. The singers of the choir prepare for the festive concert »Drunk with fire« shortly before the performance. The joy is palpable and the entire audience is carried away. What a celebration of joy.

Episode 4

Preparing for the wish list concert

The Bürgerchor goes into the second round! At the start of the rehearsals for the wish list concert on 18.12.2022, familiar faces meet again, but also new singers are present. The anticipation for the project is rising and the enthusiasm for singing together unites the multi-faceted Bürgerchor.

The Kölner Bürgerchor sings at the Christmas market

We are in the final preparations for the big wish list Christmas concert on December 18, 2022. The Bürgerchor is warming up together with the audience at the Christmas market at Cologne Cathedral, because the voices of the audience are also needed in the wish list concert.

Episode 5

The first rehearsal with the orchestra

It's on to the big stage for the Bürgerchor. The singers have now developed into a seasoned choir and meet the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne and François-Xavier Roth for the first time. Nothing now stands in the way of the wish list concert on December 18, 2022.

Folge 6

The wish list concert

Finally, the time has come: the Bürgerchor performs with the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne on the big stage of the Cologne Philharmonic Hall. The wish list concert has once again shown all singers, musicians and everyone in the audience what really matters at Christmas: togetherness, joy and making music together.

Dear singers,


In the 2024/25 season, the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne and François-Xavier Roth would once again like to invite you to make music together. As soon as the season programme is published in spring 2025, you will find all information about the concert, rehearsal dates and performances as well as a link to register here.