Composers’ Orchestra Berlin

The Composers’ Orchestra Berlin was founded in autumn 2010, and consists of strings, horns and rhythm section. The members of the orchestra are not only improvising instrumentalists, but are also the composers. Coming from a wide variety of musical backgrounds – from classical to jazz and from folk to free- together they are developing a brand-new and innovative orchestral repertoire.

Stylistic freedom is key… the music written for this band has no exclusion zones. Our mandate is to combine elements from all possible styles to create music which is truly free-range and to have that music performed by top-class creative players. Since 2010 the COB has become an established part of the Berlin jazz-scene, with regular concerts in the Kunstfabrik Schlot.
The COB gained international recognition in 2014 with the release of two albums: “Spazieren in Berlin” (an illustration of Hessel’s texts) and the orchestral “Free-Range Music”, which displays the broad and inspiring diversity of uniquely personal musical styles that have developed from the composers’ Berlin surroundings. My‘ Postcard Collection’  was released on CD in April 2018, and ‘Vanishing Points’, featuring music by our bassplayer Dirk Strakhof in 2020.

The latest CD is ‘Holding Pattern’ (April 2022, JHM 285).

More info, photos & soundbites :



Strings:  Daniel Friedrichs, Davis West, Joana Carvalhas, Francisco Torres, Philipp Perotto, Matthias Leupold, Katja Braun, Susanne Paul, Frederico Malverde, Natasha Jaffe.
Horns: Meike Goosmann (sx/cl), Tian Korthals (sx/fl), Ruth Schepers (sx/fl), Markus Busch (sx/cl), Hazel Leach (fl), Aaron Schmidt-Wiegand (tp), Achim Rothe (tp), Christoph Titz (tp), Anne Dau (tb), Julian Gretschel (tb), Janni Struzyk (tba), Philipp Krüger (tba), Benni König (tba)
Rhythm: Fee Stracke (pn), Heiko Kulenkampff (pn), Daniel Meyer (gt), Benjamin Schneider (gt), Dirk Strakhof (bs), Carmelo Leotta (bs), Christoph Hillmann (dr), Tom Dayan (dr), Sebastian Deufel (dr), Agustin Strizzi (dr)
Musical Director: Hazel Leach.

CD ‘Holding Pattern’

April 2022, JHM285:

Holding Pattern

This CD is a compilation of pieces written by nine different composers, presenting the depth and variety of nine different personalities. Many of the pieces were composed during lockdown: with hindsight, this had more influence on the creative process than was ever imagined. Despite the dearth of live concerts, our COB-composers continued writing, producing a veritable backlog of pieces awaiting performance. This CD documents a fraction of the COB’s latest repertoire.
Sources of inspiration range from the poetry of Dylan Thomas to the argentinian night sky, from furniture design to travels in Bolivia. The wide range of instrumental colours gives rise to shades of tango, symphonic and film music.

CD ‘Vanishing Points’

April 2020, JHM271:

CD Vanishing Points

CD  “Postcard Collection”

April 2018, JHM258:

CD Postcard Collection

CD Postcard Collection

For the COB project “Postcard Collection” I explored the rhythms of the waltz, resulting in a huge collection of musical ideas from very different corners of the world – all based on the variations of the scheme of triple time. The release includes eight of these `postcards` inspired by music from Venezuela, Peru, Argentinia, Greece, Great Britain and Germany – all individually arranged and orchestrated for the COB`s members.

CD  “Free Range Music”

April 2014, JHM224:

CD Free Range Music

This CD presents only a fraction of the huge array of pieces written since the end of 2010, but displays the wonderfully broad and inspiring diversity of uniquely personal styles, with influences ranging from classical to jazz and from folk to free…. truly Free Range music.
Composers: Hazel Leach, Oleg Hollmann, Susanne Paul, Alexander Tzschentke, Dirk Strakhof, Horst Nonnenmacher, Ruth Schepers, Fee Stracke and Tian Korthals.

More info, lineup & Soundbites:

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Hazel Leach
Hazel Leach - Credits