The MCO's Dortmund Partner Class Says Farewell

22 May 2017

The five-year partnership between the MCO, its Partner Class at the Gesamtschule Scharnhorst and Konzerthaus Dortmund began in 2012 with three visits during one project: a school visit by MCO musicians, a rehearsal visit by the students, and a concert visit to the MCO’s concert with Andrés Orozco-Estrada in Dortmund. 

Since then, the MCO’s partner class has been a regular fixture during the orchestra’s rehearsal and concert phases in Dortmund. Not only have the students gotten many glimpses into the inner workings of the MCO through rehearsal visits, workshops and conversations with the orchestra’s musicians, guests and staff; they have, through the years, also shown their appreciation for the MCO through contributions ranging from artwork to Christmas cookies. These students have come to know the MCO not only as an orchestra, but also an orchestra of personalities who each have a role to play and a story to tell. 

After five serendipitous years, the MCO’s partner class is graduating and moving on to its nex endeavours. Together, the MCO and the students of its partner class look back on what this partnership has meant to them, and how this experience has had an impact on their future.

It was very special for us to build up this long-term relationship with our partner class in Dortmund. It was wonderful to see how the students opened up to experiencing classical music over the years of our partnership, and how they – in turn – showed us a different perspective on our daily work. We were happy to contribute a small part to their personal development, as they did to ours, and we hope to see some of them among our audiences in the future. 
Miriam Hoffmann, MCO Education & Outreach Manager

My students have grown through this joyful, extremely warm and heartfelt collaboration with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Konzerthaus Dortmund. For that I am very grateful, and – this is also important to note – I, too, have grown because of you all. 
Danilo Ottersbach, Teacher of the MCO Partner Class at Gesamtschule Scharnhorst 

It is not only the music that makes this partnership so special; it is also the people behind it. We often had the chance to speak with the musicians and to hear about their lives. Despite rehearsals and stress, we were always met with friendliness and good humour.

What a great time it has been. For me, it is fascinating to this day how so many people from so many different countries work together. It is this love for music that truly brings them together. 


Our time together with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra was something very special and an experience that is irreplaceable. It was based on a partnership of giving and receiving. The orchestra took the time to meet with us, and we baked cookies to show our gratitude [...] Thank you for this unforgettable experience. It was a privilege for us to be able to work with real artists. Because of our partnership with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, I now see classical music from a completely different perspective. The orchestra has tought us something about a style and culture that is totally undervalued in today’s day and age. Classical music is so interesting, soothing, and beautiful. Very different styles of music exist in different countries and they are not known to all, but every single person in this world knows classical music. Even though it is one of the oldest styles of music, it will never die. 

I got to know one of the members of the MCO: Burak. He was very nice and he told me a lot about his career.

[...] we learned a lot, including: what kinds of preparations take place before a concert, how rehearsals work, and a lot about the musicians.

I looked forward to each and every visit, regardless of whether it was for a rehearsal or for a concert. Especially to seeing the musicians after rehearsal and having the opportunity to ask questions  and to get to know them [...] I will never forget my time with the MCO. 

Through the MCO, I’ve learned that classical music can be fun too. 

It was something totally new and interesting to see how an orchestra lives. I would have never thought that an orchestra could be so interesting, and that so much work goes into it. The MCO will definitely influence my future. I would like my children to learn an instrument too.