Feel the Music in macao

30 September 2015

The Mahler Chamber Orchestra brings its award-winning education project Feel the Music to Macao. The project opens up the world of music to deaf and hard-of-hearing children.

Feel the Music will take place on 4 and 6 October as part of the Asia tour with Esa-Pekka Salonen, which will lead the orchestra to Macao (7 October), Shanghai (8 October) and Beijing (10 October). This is the second time the MCO carries out Feel the Music in Asia after a highly successful project in Hong Kong in May 2015.

Participants of Feel the Music in Macao are deaf and hard-of-hearing children aged 8-18. The project starts with a four-hour school workshop lead by Paul Whittaker, who is himself a deaf musician and has been a partner of Feel the Music since the project’s inception, and with MCO musicians Yannick Dondelinger, Christian Heubes, Martin Piechotta and Chiara Santi. In a second step, the students come to the concert hall to experience a workshop with the full orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen. To conclude the experience, they attend the orchestra’s concert at the Macao Cultural Centre together with their parents and teachers.

Feel the Music was developed as part of the Beethoven Journey with the MCO’s Artistic Partner Leif Ove Andsnes in 2012. Starting with Beethoven’s own hearing-loss, Feel the Music aims to explore how music can be perceived aside from our ears and with all of our senses. The project has proved to be as enriching for the orchestra musicians as it is for the children, teachers and parents. After the conclusion of the Beethoven Journey in July 2015, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra continues to carry out Feel the Music projects with selected partners.

Miriam Bongartz, Education and Outreach Manager of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra: "Over the past 3.5 years, we have carried out Feel the Music in 10 different countries, and each workshop has been very enriching both for the children and for us. We are happy to see that we can make a difference and set an example across countries for inviting and integrating deaf people into the music world. We hope to inspire many more musicians, ensembles and promoters to create such opportunities for the deaf. We are particularly happy to see that representatives of the Macao Orchestra will attend our project and look forward to exchanging ideas and passing on our knowledge and experience to support local initiatives."

Click here to watch a short video about Feel the Music.