Mendelssohn Kammerorchester Leipzig (= MKO Leipzig; Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra Leipzig) is a German chamber orchestra. Its Artistic Director is Peter Bruns.
Audience and press are equally enthusiastic about the vivid and joyful performances of the MKO Leipzig, its expressivity and homogeneity. In 2000, music students of the Leipzig Conservatory, having made a lot of experiences in Germany’s leading youth orchestras, decided to bring their passion for music to a new professional chamber orchestra - the MKO Leipzig was born.
In addition to concertmaster Gunnar Harms, cellist Peter Bruns, who has worked successfully with the orchestra for many years, including the outstanding debut at the Musikverein in Vienna and several highly praised CD productions, became artistic director of the MKO Leipzig in 2014. He usually conducts the orchestra from his position as solo cellist, being part of the ensemble, which presumes a high level of communication between him, the concertmaster and the other musicians. As a result of this very special constellation, a common musical gesture and an extraordinarily homogeneous sound are created.
The name giving composer, conductor and pianist Felix Mendelssohn has been one of the most important persons of the musical life in the 19th century in Europe. He revolutionised the concert business and campaigned for the musical education of the younger generations. Considering itself to be a highly specialised ambassador of F. Mendelssohn’s music, the MKO Leipzig focuses on the musical legacy of the Leipzig based composer. Besides regular concert programmes, the orchestra collaborates with renowned dramatic advisors like Folkert Uhde, actors like David Bennent or the pantomimes "Bodecker & Neander" creating scenic programmes dealing with the life and music of F. Mendelssohn.
The MKO Leipzig has collaborated with several renowned artist such as Michael Sanderling, Antje Weithaas, Viviane Hagner, Reinhold Friedrich, David Orlovsky, Dorothee Mields and Salome Kammer, as well as artists of non-classical genres such as the ‘chansonier’ Sebastian Krämer
Invitations have taken the MKO Leipzig to leading festivals such as the MDR Musiksommer, Bachfest Leipzig, Bachwoche Ansbach, Rheingau Musik Festival, Musikfestspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Mendelssohn-Festtagen in Leipzig. The orchestra toured Switzerland, Turkey and Spain and has been invited to perform at the most important concert venues in Germany, among others at the philharmonies in Essen and Cologne, in Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, at the Konzerthaus Dortmund and at the Liederhalle Stuttgart. In the 2007-2008 season, Peter Bruns and the orchestra have inaugurated the new ‘Concerts for the Curious’ series in Leipzig. Since 2009, the MKO Leipzig is the official partner of the Mendelssohn Festtage in Leipzig.
The discography of the MKO Leipzig reflects the versatility of the ensemble: Hänssler classic has released a CD, which includes Haydn’s Cello Concertos and Edison Denisov's Death is a long sleep. Further CDs of the orchestra are devoted to works by F. Mendelssohn, Ibert, Sannicandro as well as Dvorak and Tchaikovsky. Together with Peter Bruns the orchestra recorded cello works by Robert Schumann and Volkmann. The latest recording of the orchestra together with the Syrian clarinettist Kinan Azmeh is called “Occident & Orient” and has been published as LP (Berliner Meisterschallplatten). A new CD entitled “Primadonna” featuring oboist Clara Dent has just been released (Coviello Classics).
The MKO Leipzig regularly offers educational programmes in cooperation with specialised theatre and dance teachers, as well as with the School of Music and Arts “Clara Schumann”.