This year’s MCO Academy project leads the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and students of the MCO Academy to concerts on 19 February in Essen, on 20 February in Dortmund, and on 21 February in Cologne. Under the baton of Daniel Harding, the programme features Gustav Mahler’s large-scale Resurrection Symphony no. 2 in C minor. The vocal parts of the Symphony’s fifth movement are performed by soprano Christiane Karg, mezzo-soprano Bernarda Fink, and the MCO Academy Choir. Supervised by choral conductor Alexander Eberle, the choir consists of professional, student and amateur singers specially cast for this project, bringing together people of all ages from all over the region.
MCO’s Conductor Laureate Daniel Harding will conduct the MCO Academy orchestra for the second time, having led the Academy’s founding concerts in 2009 with Igor Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps. The MCO Academy evolved from the Mahler Chamber Orchestra’s residency in North Rhine-Westphalia in the years 2009 to 2013, and aims to introduce the MCO’s philosophy and way of working to the next generation of orchestral musicians: passionate, creative and collaborative music making.
The MCO Academy provides a carefully developed educational model that gives young musicians high quality orchestral experience under renowned conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Peter Eötvös. In addition to audition training, individual coaching and orchestral playing, the Academy also includes chamber music workshops which emphasize the MCO’s characteristic chamber music approach to music-making. Complemented by a mentoring programme, career talks and further activities, the Academy fosters creative and independent thinking and offers a comprehensive and modern approach for professional musicians of the 21st century.
With the cooperation with founding partner Orchesterzentrum|NRW in Dortmund as its base, the Academy has expanded to include further partners in the years since 2009. Currently, music students from three additional partner institutions – the National Youth Orchestra of Catalonia in Barcelona, Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, and the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne – can apply to take part in the MCO Academy projects. Thus, the Academy offers a unique platform for international exchange, another central characteristic of the MCO.