The MCO's 2018/19 Season

8 August 2018

In early summer, the MCO Foundation’s board members convened for their annual board meeting, where they were also presented with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra’s exciting 2018/19 season at the MCO office in Berlin.

MCO Foundation Board members (from left to right): Jörg Thierfelder, Swantje von Werz, Annette zu Castell, Michael Hoffmann-Becking, Michael Adick and Carsten Markfort

In addition to projects with top-class conductors and soloists – including all of the MCO’s Artistic Partners – the Mahler Chamber Orchestra’s upcoming season also includes projects showcasing the orchestra’s strengths, demonstrating its interests and illustrating the MCO’s signature programming. At the same time, the 2018/19 season sees the MCO continuing long-term partnerships, returning to many familiar cities and concert halls, and experimenting with new terrains.

Artistic Partners

The MCO officially launched its Artistic Partnership with Pekka Kuusisto in July 2018 and joins the Finnish violinist onstage again in Torino, Neumarkt and Landshut (December 2018). The orchestra continues its exploration of Schumann’s symphonic works with MCO Artistic Advisor Daniele Gatti in Italy (January 2019 – in light of recent developments, the MCO is in the process of evaluating whether these concerts can take place as planned). Pianist Mitsuko Uchida reunites with the MCO in spring 2019 with two tours launching multiple long-term residences in Salzburg, London and New York (January & March 2019). Conductor Laureate Daniel Harding leads the orchestra in an extended tour to Asia and Australia (March 2019). Teodor Currentzis brings the MCO to his International Diaghilev Festival in Perm for a performance of Brahms’ Requiem (May 2019).

Top-class Conductors & Soloists

Conductors Gustavo Dudamel, Pablo Heras-Casado, Andres Orozco-Estrada and François-Xavier Roth all return to direct the MCO from the podium this season.

Soloists sharing the stage with the MCO include violinists Renaud Capuçon and Isabelle Faust, cellist Sol Gabetta, pianist Alexander Melnikov, sopranos Georgia Jarman and Golda Schultz, alto Wiebke Lehmkuhl, bass baritone Peter Harvey, countertenor Bejun Mehta, as well as flamenco singer Marina Heredia.

The MCO’s Signature Concept-Driven Programming

In May 2019, the MCO looks forward to launching the multi-year project MOZART MOMENTUM 1785/1786 together with pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, who belongs to the MCO’s first generation of Artistic Partners. Leif Ove Andsnes will again lead the orchestra from the piano in performances of Mozart’s works from his most illustrious period. This project also features the exciting education and outreach project UNBOXING MOZART. The official kickoff for the project will take place over two days in a festival format hosted by the Alte Oper Frankfurt.

Spotlight on George Benjamin

Two projects in the MCO’s 2018/19 season are dedicated to the composer George Benjamin. At this year’s Musikfest Berlin, the MCO will perform his Into the Little Hill (September 2018). The MCO is also pleased to bring George Benjamin’s acclaimed opera, Written on Skin – which was premiered by the MCO at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence in 2012 – to Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie and Berlin’s Philharmonie (November 2018). Both projects are conducted by the composer himself.

Core Values

Throughout the 2018/19 season, the MCO continually revisits its core values through projects emphasizing the orchestra’s chamber music style of music making and its commitment to fostering dialogue with the next generation of orchestral musicians. MCO concertmaster Matthew Truscott leads the MCO in two programmes featuring chamber orchestra repertoire (September 2018), and the annual MCO Academy brings together MCO musicians and Academy students in a week of rigorous exchange, in the concert hall and beyond (November 2018).

New Residencies & Long-Term Partnerships

The 2018/19 season sees the MCO starting exciting, multi-year partnerships with the Mozartwoche in Salzburg, Carnegie Hall in New York and Southbank Centre in London (January & March 2019), all in conjunction with the orchestra’s 5-year project with pianist Mitsuko Uchida.

The MCO will also make appearances at its established residencies: the Lucerne Festival (August 2018), Landshut’s Freunde der Musik (December 2018), Heidelberger Frühling (March 2019) and Festival de Saint-Denis (May 2019).

The orchestra’s longstanding partners – including the Kölner Philharmonie, Konzerthaus Dortmund, Alte Oper Frankfurt and Elbphilharmonie Hamburg in Germany; Palau de la Música Catalana in Spain; Lingotto Musica in Italy – will also be featured prominently throughout the season.

Photos: Geoffroy Schied / Nohely Oliveros / Holger Talinski / Sonja Werner