8 November 2023

Starting in 2024, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra (MCO) will take over the Artistic Direction of the renowned Musikwoche Hitzacker for five years. Titled Aus Leidenschaft (Out of Passion), the festival’s 38th edition will take place between March 1st – 10th, 2024.

Aus Leidenschaft reflects the MCO’s own passion for music and their wish to engage in an active dialogue with audiences and the festival itself. Ten intensive days of music, participatory activities and discussions will give festival-goers the opportunity to experience the MCO and their invited guests in different formats. Violinist Alina Ibragimova, who has previously worked with the MCO, will accompany the Orchestra in different roles at a number of concerts and events.

The democratic spirit that has informed the MCO since its foundation in 1997, has also influenced the way the Orchestra has designed its artistic direction in Hitzacker. Each year, an “Artistic Representative will be elected from within the Orchestra, to develop the guiding principles and respective festival programme in close collaboration with the MCO musicians and staff.  In 2024, cellist and co-founder of the MCO Stefan Faludi has taken on this role: “Our Orchestra is excited to present itself in all its diversity on the occasion of this year’s festival marked by the motto ‘Out of Passion!’”

Under Stefan’s guidance, classical concert formats will alternate with panel discussions on topics that are central to the MCO’s past and future. This includes exploring the use of Virtual Reality in music and how the MCO often performs without a conductor. Also to be found in the programme are musical events for children, as well as on-stage encounters, and a concert for the time of Lent with works by Johann Sebastian Bach – after all, there is no passion without suffering, no “Leidenschaft” without “Leiden”.

At the closing event after ten passionate days, musicians of the MCO will perform works by Ludwig van Beethoven, Richard Wagner, Alban Berg and Clara Schumann, both in large and small formats – but always in the spirit of chamber music on which the MCO has built its reputation.

Discover the calendar of MCO’s concerts and events at Musikwoche Hitzacker here.