Renowned for its exceptionally creative programming and the homogeneity of timbre that can only come from a long history of making music together – over sixty-five years after its foundation in the aftermath of war the MKO is blazing a trail for orchestras in Germany and beyond. In the last few years the orchestra has increased its subscription ticketholders by over fifty percent, notwithstanding the ambitious content of its programmes.
Since the beginning of the 2016/17 season, Bremen-born Clemens Schuldt is the new principle conductor. He also heads the artistic planning committee, which has, besides himself, two members nominated by the orchestra and two from the management team. Under his leadership the MKO will continue to present daring, associative programmes combining works from the past and the present. With no aesthetic preconceptions and a love of experimentation Schuldt and the orchestra will continue to place their trust in the sheer impact and emotional intensity of contemporary music. Concepts such as Eastwards, Drama, Childhood, Isolation and Reformation have set the ensemble’s course in recent seasons; in 2017/18 the focus will be on diverse facets of ›Wandern‹.
Since 1995, when Christoph Poppen took over as artistic director and established the orchestra’s unmistakable dramaturgical profile, the MKO has premiered over eighty new works by composers including Iannis Xenakis, Wolfgang Rihm, Tan Dun, Chaya Czernowin, Georg Friedrich Haas, Pascal Dusapin, Salvatore Sciarrino and Jörg Widmann. Composers such as Beat Furrer, Erkki-Sven Tüür, Thomas Larcher, Milica Djordjević, Clara Iannotta, Samir Odeh-Tamimi, Mark Andre, Peter Ruzicka, Márton Illés, Mirsolav Srenka and Tigran Mansurian have fulfilled commissions from the MKO.