As its founder Dr.-Ing. h. c. Jochen Opländer intended, cultural engagement in the city of Dortmund, where Wilo SE is headquartered, plays a strong role at the Wilo-Foundation. To improve the cultural appeal of Dortmund within the region and beyond, the Wilo-Foundation supports the renowned Dortmund Concert Hall (Konzerthaus Dortmund) and in this way helps to ensure that outstanding musical events of the highest international standard are staged there.
For a period of eight years, until 2020, the Wilo-Foundation supported the “opera in concert” series, which further raised the profile of the concert hall and brought famous artists, e.g. Cecilia Bartoli, to Dortmund. As an accompanying initiative, and to use the connection with the science city of Dortmund, the foundation also invited students from the Ruhr region and gave them free student tickets (called “opera credits”) for them to experience major opera productions and renowned conductors such as Yannick Nézet-Séguin or Teodor Currentzis. Moreover, the Wilo-Foundation regularly invites Germany scholarship holders, apprentices, pupils with a scholarship and top rowing athletes from Dortmund to such productions and organises personal encounters with the performing artists.
In season 2019/2020, the Wilo-Foundation became the main sponsor of the new “orchestra in residence” format – kicked off with the world-famous London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) coming to Dortmund. For three years, the outstanding orchestra will work closely with Konzerthaus Dortmund and, under the leadership of internationally acclaimed conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Sir John Eliot Gardiner and François-Xavier Roth, bring to the stage exceptional music productions. There will also be workshops, rehearsal visits, artist talks and joint music sessions, enabling visitors to get to know the LSO musicians and experience their art, including in off-stage settings.
In addition, a Community Music programme was launched, for which the Wilo-Foundation will provide significant financial support for a three-year period, starting in season 2019/2020. The format is intended for anyone interested in music – regardless of previous music or stage experience. The focus of the programme is on making music together, joint learning and promoting mutual exchange.
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By the time the Dortmund Concert Hall, which opened in September 2002, celebrated its tenth anniversary at the start of the 2012/13 season, it had already been officially recognised as one of the top concert venues in Europe. In 2012 it was accepted into the prestigious European Concert Hall Organisation (ECHO), where it found itself in the illustrious company of the leading concert halls of London, Paris, Barcelona, Budapest and Vienna. Dortmund Concert Hall is one of only four German venues to have achieved this honour, along with Baden-Baden, Cologne and Hamburg. Since 2006, Benedikt Stampa has been the artistic director and managing director of the Dortmund Concert Hall.