The Center for Early Music, operated by The Cologne Society for Early Music, has found a new home within the walls of a former lightbulb factory boldly topped with a lighthouse. This repurposed “Helios Tower” now serves as a powerful beacon for all Early Music organizations in Germany that must compete for limited public and private funding. By pooling their resources, Concerto Köln, Capella Coloniensis, Das Neue Orchester and Cantus Cölln are able to share a rehearsal hall, several harpsichords and a fortepiano, and soon, after a second phase of construction has been completed, office spaces and guest rooms for visiting musicians will be available to all collaborators.
Not surprisingly, a social network for Early Music has sprung up at the Helios site. Musicians who had never before worked together have found each other at the Center and have begun to develop joint projects, and when a request for a concert appearance cannot be fulfilled by one ensemble, it’s only a short walk to alert another ensemble of the opportunity. The Society is also expanding its service to the community as The Center has begun offering educational programs to groups that have had little exposure to Early Music.