The Mahler Chamber Orchestra (MCO) was founded in 1997 based on the shared vision of being a free and international ensemble, dedicated to creating and sharing exceptional experiences in classical music.
With 45 members spanning 20 different countries at its core, the MCO works as a nomadic collective of passionate musicians uniting for specific tours in Europe and across the world. The orchestra is constantly on the move: it has, to date, performed in over 40 countries across five continents. It is governed collectively by its management team and orchestra board; decisions are made democratically with the participation of all musicians.
The MCO’s sound is characterized by the chamber music style of ensemble playing among its alert and distinct musical personalities. Committed to excellence, its musicians are unafraid of taking risks. The MCO’s core repertoire, ranging from the Viennese classical and early Romantic periods to contemporary pieces and world premieres, reflects the orchestra’s agility in crossing musical boundaries.
The orchestra received its most significant artistic impulses from its founding mentor, Claudio Abbado, and from Conductor Laureate Daniel Harding. The MCO works closely with a network of Artistic Partners who inspire and shape the orchestra in long-term collaborations. Current MCO Artistic Partners include
pianists Mitsuko Uchida and Leif Ove Andsnes, as well as violinist Pekka Kuusisto. Concertmaster Matthew Truscott leads and directs the orchestra regularly in chamber orchestra repertoire, while the MCO’s longstanding collaboration with Artistic Advisor Daniele Gatti focuses on larger symphonic works.
MCO musicians all share a strong desire to continually deepen their engagement with audiences. This has inspired a growing number of offstage musical encounters and projects bringing music, learning and creativity to communities across the globe. Unboxing Mozart creates a convergence of music, collaborative performance and urban gaming by inviting audiences to participate in the artistic process through sound boxes. Since 2012, Feel the Music has opened the world of music to deaf and hard-of-hearing children through interactive workshops in schools and concert halls. MCO musicians are equally committed to sharing their passion and expertise with the next generation of musicians: since 2009, they have, through the MCO Academy, worked with young musicians to provide a high quality orchestral experience and a unique platform for networking and international exchange.
The opening months of 2020 see the MCO continuing to develop many of its flagship artistic projects around the world. Reunited with Mitsuko Uchida, the orchestra tours across Spain, Central Europe, the UK and the USA, with annual residencies at Salzburg’s Mozartwoche, London’s Southbank Centre and New York’s Carnegie Hall, as part of a five-year partnership centred on Mozart’s piano concertos. With Leif Ove Andsnes, the orchestra looks deeply at two of Mozart’s most creative years in Mozart Momentum 1785/1786, through an intimate chamber music tour in February, followed by another with full orchestra that runs from Rijeka, this year’s European Capital of Culture, to Prague Spring 2020. Both tours will include recording sessions for future release by Sony Classical.
The MCO has always dedicated itself to discovering new musical ideas and performing works by the most important living composers, including the celebrated premiere of Written on Skin at Festival d’Aix-en-Provence in 2012, conducted by the composer Sir George Benjamin, who is writing a new piece especially for the MCO to be premiered later in 2020. During its annual residency at Heidelberger Frühling, the orchestra continues to question convention, explore new concert formats and create unique experiences with Pekka Kuusisto in multiple locations across this historic city, culminating in a new violin concerto by Nico Muhly, Shrink, which the MCO co-commissioned.
And as the world celebrates 250 years of Beethoven, the MCO partners with Gustavo Dudamel in April to bring a new production of Fidelio to concert halls across Europe, coupled with symphonic appearances at Barcelona’s Palau de la Música, Munich’s Gasteig, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and the Philharmonie de Paris.
North America Booking Period: May/June 2023
North American Touring for this project is by Dorn Music.
The above text is not to be altered without prior approval by management