Ars Choralis Coeln – we call ourselves ACC for short – is genuinely a local product of Cologne. The idea to create the ensemble was born during meetings of the IFM (Proactive Group for Freelance Music in Cologne) together with Christoph Kuhlmann und Wilfried Kaets, both regional directors of church music. There was a trial run at the Festival „Ökumenisches Kirchenmusikfestival (Ecumenical Church Music) and the first important concert, our debut, took place in the concert series Romanischen Sommer 2004. Since then we perform regularly in Cologne‘s beautiful romanesque churches, but also throughout Germany and Europe. A real success story!
Our repertoire has focussed on the music of Hildegard von Bingen (meanwhile canonized and Doctor of the Church!) from the very start: for us it is the most
interesting and best music there is. But also as a Rhineland-ensemble we feel close to Hildegard, and dedicated to her cause. I had the good fortune and privilege to learn and sing the music of
Hildegard with the late Barbara Thornton (Sequentia) – I am profoundly grateful to her for this: she still sings with us!
And the other focus of our repertoire is the nearly inexhaustible wealth of manuscripts in the Library of the Archdiocese and Cathedral of Cologne. In August of 2012 we experienced a high point: together with the men‘s voices of ACC under the direction of Oliver Sperling we sang a farewell concert for Dombaumeisterin Schock-Werner with music solely from this collection. The WDR (West German Radio) is deserving of our gratitude for recording the concert, so that the event can be relived via CD, together with a CD-booklet filled with wonderful photos of the angels of the Cathedral.
And then the tours! They bond us to one another, and we wouldn‘t miss them for anything – even when our suitcases are terribly heavy with bells...but the bells (thanks to Michael Metzler!) are our trademark. They always come along with us because, just as in a mediaeval convent, we sing together with them.
Styriarte (A), PSALM (A), Festival de Semana Sancta Cuenca (SP), Schleswig Holstein Musikfestival, Rheinvokal, Romanischer Sommer Köln, Alte Musikfestival Köln, Hohenloher Musiksommer, Quedlinburger Musiksommer, Festliche Tage Alter Musik Knechtsteden, Festival Voix et Route Romane (F), AbendmusikLebensmusik Innsbruck (A), Trigonale in Kärnten (A), Montalbane (Freyburg a.d. Unstrut), MDR-Musiksommer, Uckermärkische Musikwoche, Muzyka w Raju in Paradyz (PL)