Armstrong International Music & Arts Enterprises Ltd., is a diversified leading arts management enterprise consists of three branches: Armstrong Music and Arts, Armstrong Media, and Armstrong Travel. We are aiming to build a cultural bridge between China and the Western World.

Get In Touch

Cologne New Philharmonic Orchestra with Volker Hartung Pianist Barry Douglas

Cologne New Philharmonic Orchestra with Volker Hartung Pianist Barry Douglas

Cologne New Philharmonic Orchestra

The Cologne New Philharmonic Orchestra has been enchanting audiences for more than 40 years with it’s electrifying performance style. Since 1972, the Cologne New Philharmonic Orchestra has been well known in the classical scene. Under its umbrella, a unique platform has emerged that gives young professionals the increasingly rare opportunity to participate in extraordinary concert projects beyond the limits of their studies and professional life.
It works under the musical direction of his artistic director, Volker Hartung, as well as guest conductors. It is managed by Junge Philharmonie Köln e.V., a non-profit association which supports the orchestra’s mission as a musical ambassador and promoter of a peaceful world through the integration of numerous foreign young artists living in Germany.
By gradually finding its own style of interpretation, one that is characterized by spirit, vivacity and faithful rendition, the Cologne New Philharmonic Orchestra has also been able to win the hearts of people whose musical preferences previously did not include classical music.
Musicians from all over the world have made the Cologne New Philharmonic Orchestra their musical home, most of them advanced students of the Rhineland conservatories and prize winners at international competitions. Numerous and most successful concert tours abroad are continuously undertaken by this Orchestra.
Since its cooperation with the British virtuoso violinist Nigel Kennedy from 1997 to 1999, the Cologne New Philharmonic Orchestra has been widely seen as an orchestra that belongs in the upper echelons of classical music.
Volker Hartung assumed the position of chief conductor of the Cologne New Philharmonic in 1986. He was taught in the tradition of German symphony orchestras and opera. Under the influence of the conductors Evgeny Mravinsky and Sergiu Celibidache, Hartung developed a special understanding of the French, German and Eastern European musical traditions.

Under his guidance the Cologne New Philharmonic orchestra has reached world-class level and has become world-wide famous for his distinct performance style and popular success.

Volker Hartung

Born in Cologne, Hartung began learning the violin and viola at the age of nine. From 1972 to 1980 he studied viola and chamber music with Gerard Ruymen at the Cologne Conservatory as well as with the Amadeus Quartet, attended master classes with Rainer Moog, Gerard Caussé, Bruno Giuranna and Sandor Végh.

He was Principal Violist in the Klassische Philharmonie in Bonn from 1974 to 1980 and in the Rhenish Chamber Orchestra in Cologne. American scholarships enabled Hartung to study viola and conducting at the Juilliard School of Music in New York City with Ivan Galamian, Joseph Gingold, Margaret Pardee and the Juilliard Quartet from 1980 to 1982.

He continued his studies with Alan de Veritch, William Primrose’s assistant at the California Institute of Arts in Los Angeles. There he was also a member of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra before returning to Germany to complete his studies with Sergiu Celibidache in Munich.

Volker Hartung has been Principal Conductor of the The Cologne New Philharmonic Orchestra (Junge Philharmonie Köln) since 1986 and has appeared with the Orchestra at numerous International Music Festivals and concert tours throughout the world. Hartung has numerous appearances to his credit as a guest conductor at home and abroad and collaborates closely with the MDR broadcast orchestras, the St.Petersburg Symphony Orchestra and the Bulgarian Philharmonic Orchestra in Sofia as well as the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra.

His several decades of experience as an independent manager of orchestras have taught him how to form music groups and make them financially viable in the face of various obstacles. Maestro Hartung is able to perform a very wide ranging, extremely rich repertoire that is unspecialized. He is flexible enough to switch smoothly to other genres, like film and light music.
From 2006 to 2011 Hartung worked as Head of Orchestra Studies at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore.
Besides proceeding as Artistic Director of Cologne New Philharmonic he is worldwide active as guest conductor.

Pianist: Barry Douglas

Barry Douglas has established a major international career since winning the Gold Medal at the 1986 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition, Moscow. As Artistic Director of Camerata Ireland and the Clandeboye Festival, he continues to celebrate his Irish heritage whilst also maintaining a busy international touring schedule.
Barry opened the 17/18 season performing Tchaikovsky with the Halle Orchestra, after which he began new collaborations with both the Endellion String Quartet and the Borodin Quartet. He has tours in recital in the UK and USA and performs with orchestras across the globe from Canada to Europe to Russia. Last season Barry performed two full Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto cycles in Dublin and Belfast, gave performances of Tchaikovsky’s first Piano Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra, and opened the St. Petersburg Philharmonic’s concert season, all marking the 30th anniversary of his Tchaikovsky International Competition win. He also appeared at the Verbier Festival in July 2017.

Barry is an exclusive Chandos recording artist. He recently completed a recording of the full works for solo piano of Brahms, the six albums of which have received much critical praise. International Record Review wrote that “this is indeed Brahms playing of the utmost integrity and authority… this cycle looks set to become a benchmark version.”  His current recording projects focus on the solo piano works of Schubert and Tchaikovsky. Also with Chandos Barry is exploring Irish folk music through his own arrangements, working with ancient melodies through to pieces by contemporary song writers. Celtic Reflections (2014) was followed last season by Celtic Airs

In 1999 Barry Douglas founded the chamber orchestra Camerata Ireland to celebrate and nurture the very best of young musicians from both Northern and the Republic of Ireland. In addition to striving for musical excellence, one of the orchestra’s aims is to further the peace process in Ireland by promoting dialogue and collaboration through its musical education programmes.
With Camerata Ireland he has toured the People’s Republic of China on three occasions, with concerts in Beijing, Shanghai and other key cities. Together they opened the new Jinan Grand Theatre with a cycle of all the Beethoven piano concertos. Barry regularly tours with Camerata Ireland throughout the world and will visit the US and South America this season. Highlights of past seasons were Camerata Ireland’s debut at the BBC Proms in London and a world premiere of a new cantata commissioned by The Honourable The Irish Society, “At Sixes and Sevens”, alongside the London Symphony Orchestra to celebrate Derry-Londonderry becoming City of Culture 2013.
Barry Douglas received the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2002 New Year’s Honours List for services to music.