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Born in Cologne, Volker 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 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.
In 2006 Hartung became Head of Orchestra Studies at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore.
Besides proceeding with his world-wide conducting and performance activities Hartung is teaching Orchestra Studies and Chamber Music.

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