The “resplendent” (Guardian) Baroque chamber music ensemble Concerto Köln comes to Berkeley’s First Congregational Church on November 3 at 8:00 p.m. Performing on period instruments under the artistic direction of flutist Martin Sandhoff, the group presents the music of Vivaldi, Händel, Telemann and dall’Abaco in their program Concertare. The Grammy Award-winning ensemble boasts an extensive discography that has garnered top awards in the recording industry. Praised as an ensemble of “remarkable precision and zest” by The New York Times, Concerto Köln keeps an ambitious touring schedule, with upcoming concerts throughout Europe and North America, including a three-city California tour in May.

Concerto Köln will begin with Concerto Grosso Op. 6 Nr. 1 G-Dur by Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1759). The program will also consist of two works by Evaristo Felice dall’Abaco (1675-1742): Concerto Op. 5 Nr. 3 e-Moll and Concerto Op. 5 Nr. 6 D-Dur; and three works by Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (1678-1741): Concerto für Streicher und Cembalo RV 156 g-Moll, Konzert für Piccoloblockflöte, Streicher und B.C. RV 443 C-Dur and Concerto für Fagott und Orchester RV 484 e-Moll. The concert will conclude with Konzert für Blockflöte, Traversflöte, Streicher und B.C. TWV 52:e1 e-Moll by Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767).

Concerto Köln was founded in 1985, and before long established itself amongst the highest-ranking orchestras for historical performance practice.  From the very beginning, both audience and critics alike were highly enthusiastic about the energetic performance style of the ensemble, which brings thoroughly researched interpretations to the stage with their trademark vivacity.  Since its inception, Concerto Köln has toured extensively throughout the United States, Southeast Asia, Canada, Latin America, Japan, Israel and most of Europe.

Concerto Köln boasts a discography of more than fifty recordings, including a Grammy-winning recording of Mozart’s Le Nozze de Figaro on the Harmonia Mundi label, released in 2005.  The ensemble currently collaborates with Berlin Classics; their recordings have been additionally released by labels including Deutsche Grammophon, Harmonia Mundi, Teldec, EMI-Virgin Classics and Capriccio.  Concerto Köln’s recordings have been honored by Echo Klassik, and German Record Critics Awards, the Choc du Monde de la Musicque and the Diapason d’Or, among others.

In 1992, with the collaboration of Deutschland Radio, Concerto Köln founded the Cologne Festival for Early Music; since then, the festival has developed into a platform for the ensemble to bring the newest discoveries of 17th- and 18th-century music to public performance.

Although Concerto Köln generally performs without a conductor, a consideration of historical performance practice, conductors such as René Jacobs, Marcus Creed, Daniel Harding, Evelino Pidò, Ivor Bolton, David Stern, Daniel Reuss, Pierre Cao, Laurence Equilbey and Emmanuelle Haïm have led the ensemble in the choral-orchestral repertoire.

Under the artistic direction of Martin Sandhoff since 2005, Concerto Köln has collaborated with a wide range of musicians and artists, including vocalists Cecilia Bartoli, Natalie Dessay, Andreas Scholl, pianist Andreas Staier, actors Bruno Ganz and Ulrich Tukur, director Peter Sellars and choirs including the RIAS Chamber Choir, Accentus and Arsys de Bourgogne.

Tickets for Concerto Köln, on Saturday, November 3, 2012, at 8:00 p.m. in First Congregational Church are priced at $48.00. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at; and at the door.  Half-price tickets are available for UC Berkeley students. UC faculty and staff, senior citizens, other students and UC Alumni Association members receive a $5.00 discount (Special Events excluded). For select performances, Cal Performances offers UCB student, faculty and staff, senior, and community rush tickets.  For more information about discounts, go to or call (510) 642-9988.

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