Werner Ehrhardt

Conductor and violinist Werner Ehrhardt, one of the great pioneers of German historical performance practice, is a specialist for the so-called Early Music and the Early Classical period. He stands for an independent, unmistakable historically informed interpretation of orchestral and vocal works. His interest extends far beyond the boundaries of Western European music. With his openness to innovation, artistic curiosity, catching enthusiasm and musical cosmopolitanism in his work with orchestras, Werner Ehrhardt fascinates his musicians, audience, and media.

In 1985 Werner Ehrhardt founded the today internationally renowned chamber orchestra Concerto Köln, which he headed until 2005 and with which he developed and shaped a distinctive style of interpretation of historical performance practice. In 2004 he established the orchestra l'arte del mondo and also turned to traditional orchestras as a freelance conductor.

Since then, he has made highly successful guest appearances with numerous international opera, symphony and chamber orchestras such as the Stuttgart State Opera Orchestra, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Bern Symphony Orchestra, Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, Kammerakademie Potsdam, Orchestre de Chambre de Genève, Zurich Chamber Orchestra or Vojvođanski Simfonijski Orkestar. In 2019 he oversaw Haydn's "Orlando Paladino" at the Musiktheater im Revier Gelsenkirchen, the Südwestdeutsches Kammerorchester Pforzheim and the Philharmonic Orchestra Gießen, and in 2020 he will lead the Gelsenkirchen production of Monteverdi's "L'Orfeo", among others.

Werner Ehrhardt has worked with prestigious soloists such as Edita Gruberová, Magdalena Kožená, Barbara Hendricks, Christine Schäfer, Nils Mönkemeyer, Andreas Scholl, Olli Mustonen, Christiane Oelze, Xavier de Maistre, Daniel Hope, Viktoria Mullova, Daniel Müller-Schott, Dorothee Oberlinger, Avi Avital, RIAS chamber choir or Tölzer Boys’ choir.

Within the genres opera, oratorio, and concertante-symphonic repertoire, over 60 CD recordings have been made under Werner Ehrhardt's direction, many of which were awarded international prizes. Among the recordings are various rediscoveries and premiere recordings of forgotten composers (e.g. Joseph Martin Kraus, Pasquale Anfossi, Josef Mysliveček and Franz Xaver Sterkel), which have been played back into the listeners' consciousness with great enthusiasm. In 2018 dhm/Sony released the world premiere recording of symphonies by Anton Zimmermann, followed by the first recording of Salieri's opera “La Fiera di Venezia” in 2019, and Berlin Classics published a joint production of Bach's oboe concertos with Céline Moinet. In 2020 dhm/Sony will release his recording of the opera “Scherz, List und Rache” by P.C. Kayser based on a libretto by J.W. von Goethe.

Born in Cologne, Werner Ehrhardt received his training in historical performance practice with Prof. Franzjosef Maier, Cologne, Sigiswald Kuijken, Brussels, and in conducting with Prof. Karl-Heinz Bloemeke in Detmold. Continued curiosity and a keen interest in different approaches to music led him to further intensive studies with the teachers Kato Havas, Oxford and Prof. Renate Peter, Cologne.

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