36 Hours in the Life of MCO Production

18 October 2016

What happens when one orchestra has to be in two places at the same time? The MCO Production office shares its experience of managing two tours that culminated in two concerts taking place at the same time.

Project Manager Hélène Delanglez and Planning Manager Daniela Pasdzierny chronicle 36 hours of their partially joint tour. It begins at 15:00 on the 24th of September, shortly before the MCO’s symphonic concert at Beethovenfest Bonn 2016, and ends at 23:00 on the 25th of September, after the MCO’s parallel concerts in Siegburg and in Malmö.

Bonn, 24.09.2016 – 15:29
Hélène attempts to print out a train ticket for a musician at the train station and realizes – to her dismay – that it can only be done in Cologne.
Daniela and Matthias discuss the MCO’s 2017 schedule backstage at the Beethovenhalle.

Bonn, 24.09.2016 – 16:20
Hélène assembles the final departure details for the following day and emails this to the MCO musicians. For most, tomorrow marks the end of the tour. She sends Daniela the driver contact information for the trip to Frankfurt airport, to be taken by Daniela and the MCO musicians performing in the closing concert of Malmö Chamber Music tomorrow in Malmö.
Daniela heads back to the hotel to get ready for the concert. 

Bonn, 24.09.2016 – 16:53
Daniela calls the Malmö hotel and asks for an earlier check-in for the musicians tomorrow.
Hélène writes to the promoter in Japan about the visa documents for the upcoming Japan tour. She sorts through the first batch of travel receipts from musicians for the current tour.

Bonn, 24.09.2016 – 17:13
Daniela picks up some snacks for the two-hour trip to Frankfurt airport. She and the Malmö musicians are traveling directly after the concert in Bonn, overnighting in an airport hotel and flying very early tomorrow to Malmö.
Hélène meets briefly with the MCO concertmaster and one of the MCO board members in the hotel lobby to discuss logistics regarding upcoming projects. 

Bonn, 24.09.2016 – 18:56
Daniela makes her way to the MCO Meeting Point in the lobby of the Beethovenhalle to meet colleagues from the MCO’s travel agency, Westtours, which has an office in Bonn.
Hélène ensures that each MCO staff member has a concert ticket and double checks that all musicians have arrived.

Bonn, 24.09.2016 – 19:30
Hélène locates an ironing board for the soloist, Pekka Kuusisto, and coordinates a little post-concert surprise for the orchestra on his behalf.

Bonn, 24.09.2016 – 19:59
Hélène and Daniela meet up for the first time since lunch. Both are looking forward to the concert this evening. 

Bonn, 24.09.2016 – 21:00
Hélène and Daniela check backstage during intermission to see whether anything is needed.

Bonn, 24.09.2016 – 22:00-23:00
What a memorable evening! The concert is over and champagne—the surprise from Pekka—is waiting for the musicians backstage.
Hélène packs up the mobile MCO office backstage and organizes the trunks that needed to be loaded onto the truck, while setting aside the music needed for tomorrow’s chamber music concert.
Daniela calls the driver to communicate a later departure due to Pekka's surprise and festivities backstage. She informs the musicians performing the Malmö project about the new departure time.
Hélène and Daniela take a quick moment for a photo session with Pekka.

Daniela packs the snacks for the journey and hurries back to the hotel, where she meets the bus and the musicians traveling with her to Frankfurt airport.
Hélène escorts Pekka to a waiting car; along with a few MCO musicians and staff, he has been invited to a post-concert reception. 

Bonn, 24.09.2016 – 23:15
Daniela and the Malmö musicians make their way to Frankfurt airport for their overnight stay. Everybody is a bit tired after the concert, but in good spirits.
Hélène thanks the team from Beethovenfest Bonn and returns to the hotel to celebrate this special project with the musicians.

Hélène's day on the left, Daniela's day on the right

  • Bonn, 25.09.2016 – 10:15
    Today’s chamber music concert takes place in the Stadtmuseum in Siegburg. Hélène, Pekka, May, Tim, Paulien and Leo are driven to the museum for the general rehearsal.

  • Bonn, 25.09.2016 – 11:01
    Phasing around with Steve Reich's Violin Phase.

  • Bonn, 25.09.2016 – 12:00
    Pekka’s looping and improvisation session requires quite a bit of fine-tuning. Hélène discusses post-concert plans with Johannes from the Beethovenfest. Where could one go for nice celebratory dinner? Johannes recommends “Am Stiefel” and reserves a table for the group right away.

  • Bonn, 25.09.2016 – 14:00
    There’s just enough time for a pit stop in the hotel before the concert: a snack and a quick shower.

  • Bonn, 25.09.2016 – 16:00
    Hélène travels with the group back to Siegburg for the concert. She reviews the guest list and confirms tickets for all.

  • Bonn, 25.09.2016 – 17:00
    Hélène helps out with setting up the MCO Meeting Point at the entrance. The musicians warm up, the guests arrive, and the cozy hall fills up very quickly.

  • Malmö, 25.09.2016 – 11:45
    A Malmö Chamber Music Festival driver brings the musicians and Daniela to Malmö via the renowned Öresund Bridge. Nicest driver imaginable! Daniela and some of the musicians head straight to the new concert hall Malmö Live.

  • Malmö, 25.09.2016 – 12:30
    Daniela clarifies the stage details for the coming rehearsal and evening's concert as the MCO stage manager is not with the group in Malmö. In the meantime the music, extra toy-instruments and other equipment also must be redistributed.

  • Malmö, 25.09.2016 – 15:00
    The musicians rehearse diligently on the stage, time for Daniela to find a quick midday snack. Smørrebrød with little shrimp – very Swedish!

  • Malmö, 25.09.2016 – 17:11
    The rehearsal has ended. Remaining unsigned musician contracts are signed and given to Daniela. Other musicians pick up their requested concert tickets for friends and family.

  • Bonn, 25.09.2016 – 21:05
    The chamber music concert is over. The musicians pack up their instruments and autograph the concert programmes. The Brühls, close friends and supporters of the orchestra, come backstage to greet and congratulate the musicians. Hélène makes sure that nobody’s forgotten anything; she makes her way back to Bonn. Time for dinner!
  • Malmö, 25.09.2016 – 20:12
    The concert is over. Now it's all about quickly packing up (music, toy instruments, anything remaining), before heading up to the reception. The end of the successful festival week is celebrated with Smørrebrød for all. Daniela makes it to the reception just in time to hear the thank you speech from Festival Artistic Director Håkan Hardenberger.
  • Bonn, 25.09.2016 – 22:52
    After a delicious meal with Beethovenfest colleagues, the MCO musicians and staff, joined by Pekka, look back together on an eventful week and an unconventional project. All agree that it was an incredibly positive, memorable, and—most of all—musical finale.
  • Malmö, 25.09.2016 – 22:22
    With the official reception over some of the musicians and Daniela head to the Skybar at Malmö Live. The trunk with toy instruments travels with Daniela. Luckily it fits into the elevator. MCO musicians and Swedish musicians talk and enjoy one another for the rest of the evening.