During the Mahler Chamber Orchestra’s recent visit to Bucharest, members of the orchestra met with a group of music lovers from Australia to share the MCO story ahead of the orchestra’s Romanian debut at this year’s George Enescu Festival.
The morning talk, hosted by veteran ABC Classic FM broadcaster and presenter Mairi Nicolson, was attended by around 20 Australians who had travelled especially to Romania to take in the musical offerings at the festival this year – including both of the MCO’s concerts.
During this session, Managing Director Michael Adick, violinist Annette zu Castell and trombonist Mark Hampson captivated their audience’s attention with anecdotes about the Mahler Chamber Orchestra’s life on tour and collaborations with Patricia Kopatchinskaja, while also discussing the orchestra’s unique structure, identity as a nomadic collective, connections to Australia, and – of course – its Romanian debut.
The group was particularly keen to learn more about the musicians’ “shareholder” role in the MCO’s democratic structure, as well as the logistics of a tour (including how one finds a balance between work and family while on tour: Annette’s 7 year-old son, Nicholas, accompanied his mother on this tour and was part of the audience). Many members of the group were already familiar with the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM), with whom the MCO enjoys a close relationship through the work of the MCO Academy.
When asked how the MCO manages to stay sane amidst constant change, Michael replied: “Experiences bring joy. As we gather experience through working with a wide range of artists on different programmes in a variety of settings, we can look back on and be proud of what we have achieved thus far – and look forward to what is yet to come.”
Photos: Geoffroy Schied