Unusually creative programming and ever greater sonic homogeneity: more than 65 years after it was founded, in the immediate post-war period, the Münchener Kammerorchester (MKO) is a shining beacon in German orchestral life. The MKO’s programmes – inspired, exciting and often surprising – juxtapose works from the past with music from our own time. Composers such as Iannis Xenakis, Wolfgang Rihm, Tan Dun, Chaya Czernowin and Jörg Widmann have written works for the ensemble, and since 2006 alone the MKO has commissioned pieces from Erkki-Sven Tüür, Thomas Larcher, Mark Andre, Georg Friedrich Haas, Salvatore Sciarrino, Pascal Dusapin and Tigran Mansurian.
The twenty-eight string musicians (the core instrumentalists of the MKO) have grown into an ensemble capable of immense stylistic variability. With great agility they change between historically informed performances of Baroque and Classical works and the very particular technical demands of contemporary music. Able to draw on a permanent pool of outstanding wind and brass soloists from Europe’s finest orchestras, the MKO, in the form of a small symphony orchestra, can take advantage of its special sound when it comes to setting new standards in the interpretation of some of Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann’s most important works. Renowned guest conductors and a phalanx of outstanding international soloists regularly provide new artistic impulses.
Founded by Christoph Stepp in 1950, the Münchener Kammerorchester was subsequently guided and conducted by Hans Stadlmair for almost four decades, starting in 1956. 1995 Christoph Poppen became Artistic Director and established the unmistakable dynamic profile of the MKO. From 2006 on Alexander Liebreich continued this transformation. In October 2016 Clemens Schuldt will take up the position of the MKO’s chief conductor.