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About 6th Kölner Musiknacht

Dear visitor,

we have three major achievements to thank the 20th century for: New Music, Jazz and Early Music performed according to historical practice. These three seemingly unrelated genres have an essential trait in common: They consti- tute counter movements to the established classical music business and its frequently inflexible rituals of performance and perception. It can come as no surprise, then, that their ideas have resonated strongly by the free music scene in general. In Cologne, a city with undoubtedly one of the richest and most diverse experimental music scenes worldwide, they have even been given a hero's welcome.

After focusing on Contemporary Music in its penultimate edition and dedicat- ing itself to Improvisation last year, the Musiknacht's Leitmotif in 2010 is Early Music. As a result, this unique pedestrian concert, with over 100 gigs spread out over 25 venues in the city center, will turn into a journey back in time. One should never forget that historical practice does not rely upon vague traditions or mere hearsay. Rather, it is a concerted effort of making use of the study of historical sources and reconstructions to try and present music precisely the way it may have been performed at the times of Mozart, Bach, Schütz, Josquin or Dufay. Just like contemporary composition, Early Music thus revolts against the kind of unquestioned traditions Gustav Mahler once angrily criticised as "sloppiness".

We invite you to experience Cologne as the international barrycentre of Early Music it has turned into since the 1950s thanks to internationally acclaimed ensembles and a plethora of remarkable soloists. Visit venues you haven't seen yet. Make the acquaintance of musicians, ensembles, sounds and styles you've never heard. Discover parallels between different eras and styles. Draw connections between Baroque ornamentation and improvised music.

The Kölner Musiknacht is organised by the Initiativkreis Freie Musik (IFM). The latter is home to more than 400 self-employed professional musicians, ensembles and organisers from Cologne, who have joined forces to improve their working conditions as well as the public perception and appreciation of their chronically underfinanced services. Our partners and medial partners include KölnTourismus, the Kölnische Rundschau and cultural radio station WDR 3, which will broadcast concerts live from the Funkhaus at the Wallrafplatz as well as from the Kölner Philharmonie. The Musiknacht is further supported by the mayor, the Stabsstelle Events and the cultural office of the city of Cologne, the SK-Stiftung Kultur, the Landesmusikrat NRW and the RheinEnergie-Stiftung Kultur. DB mobil will again provide bicycles for those wishing to quickly reach remote venues. And for the first time, we are also offering a so-called Kombiticket, which grants additional access to the Photokina, which will take place in sync with the Musiknacht, as well as the Theaternacht on October 2nd.

All of the support we've received is an encouragement for us to keep pursu- ing our main goals: To improve relationships between different musicians and strengthen their ties with the city and the federal state to make "music city Cologne" even more attractive to audiences.

Dr. Rainer Nonnenmann
Initiativkreis Freie Musik