History

 

The early years

Black and white photo of a small ensemble during orchestra rehearsal Copyright: Collegium Musicum

Since Professor Helmuth Schepp founded the orchestra with 30 members in the winter semester of 1952, Collegium Musicum of RWTH Aachen University has had a varied and colorful history. What once was a small ensemble, has now grown to a full symphony orchestra as well as a large university choir.

The first years of the ensemble were largely influenced by Rudolf Bremen, who led the musicians for many years and started the tradition of collaborating with other universities. Read more about the early years of Collegium Musicum here.

 
 
Black and white photograph of orchestra members Copyright: Collegium Musicum
 

Expanding the Ensemble

Renowned conductor Fritz ter Wey (Founder of „Junger Chor Aachen“), expanded the orchestra to philharmonic size when he was handed the baton by his predecessor. During this time, an exchange with the university choir from Szeged in Hungary was successfully carried out. Ter Wey’s successor in 1994 was the Dutch national Hubert Pittie, who started to reach out to Netherlands-based ensembles. His many years at Collegium Musicum included several performances of premieres as well as special collaborations with other Aachen ensembles. Read more about this time period here.

 
 
Copyright: Collegium Musicum
 

60 Years of Collegium Musicum

Also in his later years at CM, Pittie brought many demanding performances to audiences, such as the “Unfinished Second Symphony” or Karl Jenkins’ “The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace,” which were performed on the special occasion of the ensemble’s 60th anniversary. In September 2015, Ernst von Marshall took over the position of music director. Read more about this particular time in history here.

 
 
Copyright: Collegium Musicum
 

Recent Years

From summer semester 2017 to summer semester 2019, Raimund Laufen has been the general music director of Collegium Musicum. So far, he conducted, among others, “A German Requiem” by Johannes Brahms as well as a choral concert in the Coronation Hall at Aachen City Hall. Read about Collegium Musicum's most recent past here.