The 2022-23 season marked the 25th anniversary of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra (MCO). The ensemble was founded in 1997 as a self-determining and independently financed orchestra with the goal of creating profound musical experiences. Currently, 45 musicians from 27 countries comprise the core lineup and perform worldwide; residencies take the ensemble regularly to New York’s Carnegie Hall, London’s Southbank Centre, and Berlin’s Philharmonie, as well as to Lucerne Festival, Salzburg Mozart Week, Heidelberg Spring, Festival de Saint-Denis, and Beijing Music Festival. Starting in 2024, the MCO will take over artistic direction of Musikwoche Hitzacker for five years. The orchestra’s signature sound is characterized by a chamber music attitude of listening closely to one another. Its repertoire ranges from the Viennese Classical and early Romantic periods to contemporary music. Founding mentor Claudio Abbado and Conductor Laureate Daniel Harding have been formative influences on the MCO. It works closely with a network of Artistic Partners: these currently include the pianists Mitsuko Uchida and Yuja Wang, as well as the violinist Pekka Kuusisto. The orchestra performs major symphonic works with Artistic Advisor Daniele Gatti and explores the latest digital technologies with Henrik Oppermann, director of Schallgeber. The musicians train the next generation in the MCO Academy. Through a variety of projects, they foster shared learning and creativity beyond the traditional concert format.

Lucerne Festival debut on 8 September 1999 in a program of works by Mozart and Beethoven conducted by Kurt Masur.

July 2023

For further information on this ensemble, visit their homepage at: