The largest client of contemporary music turns 70 / WDR celebrates the anniversary of its concert and world premiere series Musik der Zeit

Cologne (ots) –

Contemporary music on WDR – that means more than 750 world premieres and over 280 German premieres in 7 decades. This makes the WDR the largest client for compositions of contemporary music in Germany. The anniversary will be celebrated with encounters in the WDR Funkhaus and in downtown Cologne on October 2nd.

70 years of “Musik der Zeit”: Since 1951, the WDR has enabled a new musical departure in the spirit of a young, modern Germany. Legends of contemporary music such as Stockhausen, Kagel, Nono, Ligeti or Cage began their careers here, encouraged and commissioned by the WDR. With this success story, the WDR has inscribed itself in the music annals. That the birthday party is crazy is an obligation.

Valerie Weber, WDR Program Director North Rhine-Westphalia, Knowledge and Culture: “For us as a public service broadcaster, to this day, promoting experiments and supporting young composers is part of the idea of ​​democracy. Musik der Zeit “has been spectacular works from the baptism for 70 years. We are looking forward to an exciting anniversary program.

I am particularly pleased that for the 70th anniversary this historical series has even had newcomers, and this year we have started a cycle with the series “Miniatures der Zeit” in which the WDR – even without public concerts – has commissioned compositions every month for awards new, short works and premieres them on the radio. “

On October 2nd, however, the anniversary of the great Musik der Zeit series will also be celebrated in a big way. Even before fans and guests gather for the gala concert in the WDR broadcasting hall from 6 p.m., visitors can experience two new installations inside the WDR Funkhaus on Wallrafplatz in Cologne, the location of so many events in the “Music of Time” series: in Brigitta’s Studio 3 Muntendorf and in the paternoster a piece by Manos Tsangaris.

The gala concert at 6 p.m. will feature two new WDR commissioned works by Just u0117 Janulyt u0117 and Klaus Ospald as well as works by Pierre Boulez and Iannis Xenakis. The WDR radio choir and the WDR symphony orchestra are on stage. The solo part is performed by pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard. As at the opening concert in October 1951, which Igor Stravinsky conducted personally, Enno Poppe will also be a composer and conductor at the podium at the anniversary celebration.

From 7.30 p.m. it goes to the center of the city – on a tour of extraordinary places: Baptistery, Artothek and Galerie Karsten Greven next to mustard pots, cathedral forum and ticket shop of the Cologne Philharmonic. The short programs include modern classics by John Cage and Mauricio Kagel, but also newer pieces by Peter Ablinger and Carola Bauckholt.

The tour ends around 10.30 p.m. in the Cologne Philharmonic. There will be a “WDR 3 Nachtmusik” with electronic works by György Ligeti and Dayia Maminova (premiere) at 11pm. The final point of this journey in 70 years of the most recent sound history is Mikrophone II by Karlheinz Stockhausen for choir, Hammond organ and ring modulators from 1965 – a seldom performed classic. The work was one of the first live electronic works to be launched on WDR.

The cultural radio WDR 3 will then review highlights of the “Music of Time” series in Fast Forward on a WDR 3 radio night from midnight to 6 am. Legendary world premieres, milestones of modernity or wrongly forgotten works can be experienced in excerpts.

WDR 3 broadcast information:

Saturday, October 2nd, 2021, April 20th – 11pm, WDR 3 concert

Festival concert from the WDR Funkhaus Wallrafplatz

Saturday-Sunday, October 2-3, 2021, midnight – 6 a.m., WDR 3 radio night

Fast forward. 70 years of contemporary music


Saturday, October 2nd, 2021, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., WDR 3 video live stream of the festival concert on

The current overall program as well as further information on “70 years of music of the time” at and and via WDR 3 service phone 0221 56789 333.

Photos at

Press contact:

West German radio
Tel. 0221 220 7100
You can also visit the WDR press lounge:

Original content by: WDR Westdeutscher Rundfunk, transmitted by news aktuell
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