Working from the beginning without a conductor, the c/o chamber orchestra takes its name from the idea of stewardship and responsibility. A letter addressed with ‘c/o’ does not arrive directly, but is passed on in the care of another. c/o takes the idea of being a ‘chamber’ orchestra seriously. Chamber music entails being both clear and flexible, leading and following, knowing when to step forward and when to step back. Since its founding in 2014, c/o chamber orchestra has given concerts in Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Spain, working with such a diverse range of artists as trombonist Nils Landgren, cellist Alban Gerhardt and flutist Francisco Lopez Martín as well as the Hamburg Trio. Its first CD, Divertissement!, appeared on BIS in June 2021. In September 2021 c/o chamber orchestra presents its first opera production, La voix humaine by Francis Poulenc, at the Theater im Delphi in Berlin, and June 2022 will see a weekend-long festival in Berlin with pianist Danae Dörken, celebrating women composers of the 19th century. The c/o chamber orchestra first appeared at Young Euro Classic in 2015 as part of the “Classic meets Jazz” series.
Sinfonietta Op. 1 (1932)
Serenade in D-major Op. 11 (1858)
Regular festivalgoers probably remember the c/o chamber orchestra: a few years ago, the ensemble offered a brilliant evening together with jazz trombonist Nils Landgren. Now the chamber orchestra returns – as an alternative for the National Youth Orchestra of Spain, originally scheduled for this date but prevented from appearing by the pandemic. While last time the focus was on music of the 1920s, the c/o chamber orchestra now treads symphonic – or, more precisely, pre-symphonic – paths. Both composers of today’s concert, Johannes Brahms and Benjamin Britten, were still en route to the large-scale symphony when these works were written. In his Sinfonietta Op. 1, Britten, then an 18-year-old student, demonstrated his prodigious talent. And Brahms too had long been praised by Robert Schumann as the most hopeful composer of the younger generation when he wrote his extensive, opulent Serenade in D-major Op. 11 at the age of 25 in Detmold in Westphalia. Symphonic masterworks always require several “try-outs” – and these await discovery in this festival concert!