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A Home At Last! The Munich Chamber Orchestra Becomes a Permanent Gasteig Institution

The Munich Chamber Orchestra (Münchener Kammerorchester or MKO) is internationally renowned for its genre- and epoch-spanning repertoire. What it has lacked is a permanent home. But this will change once the Gasteig has been renovated, when the MKO will move in to join the Gasteig family. A conversation with MKO Managing Director Florian Ganslmeier.

All players from the Munich Chamber Orchestra (MKO)
Looking forward to moving into the Gasteig once renovations are completed, the Munich Chamber Orchestra (MKO) with its 28 string players is already active in the Gasteig HP8 Copyright: Sammy Hart

Mr Ganslmeier, the MKO is moving into the Gasteig in Haidhausen after the renovation. How did that come about?

For about 12 years now, the Munich Chamber Orchestra has been leading a strenuous vagrant life in Munich. For years we have been looking for a permanent home and rehearsal space for the orchestra. To date, I’ve looked at more than 150 premises in Munich. For now, the Munich Chamber Orchestra is still in a precarious situation, without a suitable permanent home base. Of course, we’ve had our eyes on the Gasteig for a while now, but in the past no rooms were available there. With the art centre’s upcoming renovation, a viable, future-proof option has finally materialised.

Florian Ganslmeier, Managing Director of the Munich Chamber Orchestra
Florian Ganslmeier, Managing Director of the MKO for more than 15 years Copyright: Sammy Hart

What are the plans for the Munich Chamber Orchestra in the new Gasteig?

We will share the Munich Philharmonic’s current choir rehearsal hall for our orchestra rehearsals, and our administration will finally be located under the same roof as the orchestra. We plan to use the Gasteig’s converted Carl Orff Hall as a venue for contemporary and experimental as well as multimedia and cross-genre projects, for example with theatre and film. The future Carl Orff Hall presents us with a great opportunity for making waves with all kinds of formats, also with a view of networking with the independent scene, with which we already often collaborate.

 

Let’s talk about the present. The Gasteig has recently moved into its interim premises in Sendling. What is the MKO planning in Gasteig HP8?

We are pleased to already be a part of the Gasteig HP8 project. We are celebrating our arrival with two carefully selected concert programmes at the Isarphilharmonie: a children’s concert in collaboration with fellow HP8 residents Double Drums, with whom we have already shared wonderful moments on stage; and with the Jazzrausch Bigband, with which we’ve been hoping to collaborate for a long time. So I’m especially looking forward to our joint project at the Isarphilharmonie.

Musicians on the stage of the Isarphilharmonie and the audience
The Munich Chamber Orchestra’s electrifying welcome party at the Isarphilharmonie in July 2022: a joint concert with the Jazzrausch Bigband. Copyright: Florian Ganslmeier
The percussion duo Double Drums at the children's concert in the Isarphilharmonie
Philipp Jungk and Alex Glöggler are Double Drums, neighbours of the Gasteig HP8 and friends of the MKO. Copyright: Florian Ganslmeier

Irrespective of Sendling or Haidhausen, what opportunities do you expect the joint future of MKO and Gasteig to bring?

The great potential of the Gasteig is that it is an arts centre with a range of varying focal points and protagonists. It’s this interaction of the different genres that makes it so exciting. There are already mutually inspiring collaborations. We would very much like to collaborate in viewing the Gasteig as a whole in an even more integral way. Together we can create new formats for the public that go beyond the horizon of the individual.

 

Find out more on the MKO website.

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