Francois Xavier Roth (detail) View full image

François-Xavier Roth renews in Cologne

François-Xavier Roth has extended his contract as Gürzenich-Kapellmeister and General Music Director of the City of Cologne until the end of the 2024/25 season, with an option to extend it further to include the 2026/27 season.

Roth took the position in 2015 and has continued to bring innovative programming and musical excellence that have consistently excited audiences. Under his direction, the orchestra has performed several world premieres, including works by Philippe Manoury, and their recordings have received critical praise internationally – including with Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, which was originally premiered by the orchestra. Among opera productions, Roth has conducted Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten. As part of his ambitious audience development plans, he has formed a new citizens’ orchestra. He recently received the Honorary Award of the German Record Critics.

He said: ‘It is my great pleasure and honour to extend my contract as Gürzenich-Kapellmeister and Music Director of the City of Cologne. I feel more strongly than ever that there are no limits to the extraordinary musical experiences possible with the musicians of the Gürzenich Orchestra and the team at the Cologne Opera. I am looking forward to my next years in Cologne and to creating musical energy and passion with my Gürzenich Orchestra, for – and with – the people of Cologne.’

Stefan Englert, Director of the Gürzenich Orchestra, said: ‘François-Xavier Roth’s contract extension is a clear and promising step towards the future for the city’s music, which François-Xavier has shaped in a unique way since 2015. Together with our traditional, yet innovative, Gürzenich Orchestra, he has moved the people of Cologne with the deeply human and connecting power of music. Together we can achieve extraordinary things in the coming years. Building on the work of the past few seasons we will profile the orchestra even more in the city and also as an excellent, unique ensemble that offers listeners everywhere fantastic musical experiences. We will devote ourselves to this task with passion and I am looking forward immensely.’

In June they will release a new recording of Schumann’s Symphonies Nos.1 and 4. Under lockdown, Roth has been producing a series of videos exploring Beethoven’s symphonies for the Gürzenich Orchestra, and is now up to the Fifth Symphony: