Artist Catalog

Collegium Vocale Köln

Formed: February 26 1966

Collegium Vocale Köln

Collegium Vocale Köln is a German vocal ensemble, founded in 1966 as a quintet when its members were still students at the Rheinische Musikschule in Cologne. It is directed by Wolfgang Fromme, who also sings tenor in the ensemble. They are best known as the group for which Karlheinz Stockhausen composed Stimmung in 1968, a work which they had performed more than three hundred of times throughout the world by 1986. The original impetus for the ensemble's founding, however, was an appearance by Alfred Deller at the Cologne Courses for Early Music, and the group has always performed both early and contemporary works (Fuhrmann 1986).

In addition to Stimmung, the Collegium Vocale performed other works by Stockhausen, notably as part of the ensemble of musicians who appeared with him at Expo '70 in Osaka, Japan, between March and September 1970, where individual singers of the group performed Spiral for a soloist with a short-wave radio (Stockhausen 1971, 140). On 5 June 1971 the Collegium Vocale participated in the world premiere of Stockhausen's Sternklang in Berlin, and appeared also in subsequent performances in Munich, at the Shiraz Arts Festival in 1972, in La Rochelle in 1974, and in Paris-St. Cloud in 1975. Four members of the group also took part in a studio recording of the work made in June 1975 (Stockhausen 1978a, 170–71, 176). In the meantime, they had also participated in the world premiere of his Alphabet für Liège on 23 September 1972 (Stockhausen 1978b, 185–88, 191).

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