May - profile

May Kunstovny

1st violin

When and where was your first concert with the MCO? Don Giovanni, during the summer of 1998 in Aix-en-Provence.

What’s the best thing about playing with the MCO? The escape from routine.

What is your most memorable moment with the orchestra? There are so many, I always swear that I’ll finally write them down!

What do you need to feel at home while on tour? Not much. Given the fixed residencies, the MCO is like a second home for me. I sometimes feel that really clearly on the day of arrival.

What is the best thing about being a musician? Doing such an incredible number of different things, but somehow never having the feeling that I’m working.


May Kunstovny, born in Vienna, started playing violin at the age of 5. She began her studies at the Musikhochschule Karlsruhe with Nachum Erlich and continued them at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin with Mi-Kyung Lee, where she took her Bachelor’s exam. She furthered her studies with a Master’s degree at the Conservatory in Amsterdam with Lex Korff de Gidts and Alexander Kerrand completed them with lessons from Thomas Brandis in Berlin and Lucy van Dael in Amsterdam.

May joined the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra in 1996. She participated in tours with Claudio Abbado, Bernard Haitink and Pierre Boulez before becoming one of the founding members of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in 1998.

In addition to the MCO, she plays occasionally in the Orchestre Révolutionnaire Romantique and the Orchestre des Champs-Elysées.

In her adopted home of Oslo, May plays regularly with the Oslo Philharmonic and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, and is a member of the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra.