The Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra is Milwaukee's only professional chamber orchestra and one of only 65 in the nation. Since its founding in 1973, the MCO has earned a reputation as one of southeastern Wisconsin's finest professional performing arts groups. Critical review, audience response and other feedback reveal that the MCO performs with the highest of artistic integrity and fills a unique niche in satisfying a desire for audiences to hear, and for professional artists to perform, chamber music within the greater Milwaukee metropolitan area.
Richard Hynson, the MCO's second music director, took over in 2006 succeeding founding music director Stephen Colburn after 3 decades of leadership. Hynson envisions a chamber orchestra that can provide both the community and the musicians with outstanding opportunities to experience orchestral music through creative scheduling and programming, intimate venues, and a unique approach to music. Hynson believes that, in the right atmosphere, music can provide not only food for the soul, but an important component of wellness for the body and mind.
Through its continuing commitment to excellence, the MCO contributes to the depth of the city's nationally recognized and vibrant arts community, and further bolsters Milwaukee's reputation as a destination city for the performing arts.
The MCO Mission
The Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra's mission is to present the finest quality music and innovative programming for small orchestra and ensembles through performances, education and outreach; to offer professional performance opportunities for professional musicians and artists; and to collaborate with other arts and educational organizations.
The MCO Vision
The Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra will be nationally recognized as one of the top professionally acclaimed chamber orchestras in the country and will play a vital role in the Milwaukee area arts community by serving as a premier performing arts destination for generational audiences.
The Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra carries out its mission and vision through a sustained commitment to artistic excellence and integrity in terms of what repertoire is performed and how this repertoire is presented within the community.
This commitment to artistic excellence and integrity creates concert experiences that can be described as compelling, passionate, challenging, engaging, intimate and inspiring. The MCO experience leaves participants – audience members and artists alike – with a long-lasting impression of excellence.
The MCO commitment to artistic excellence includes:
Create intimate, expressive music-making experiences that welcome and embrace audiences of all ages and ethnicity;
Present compelling, satisfying programs and services;
Devote energy as a re-creator of core repertoire;
Program unusual and/or unfamiliar music;
Deliver a level of individual and group artistic excellence that amazes audiences; and
Serve as a passionate advocate of contemporary music.
This commitment to artistic excellence sets a standard for the MCO to develop and consistently deliver live, innovative and entrepreneurial programs and services, that inspire all involved. Such experiences serve to enrich all involved as participants on stage or in the audience, which underscores the MCO’s contribution to Milwaukee as a valued and valuable cultural asset of the greater metropolitan Milwaukee community.
A commitment to excellence also mandates that the MCO commit to a high standard of financial viability through effective leadership and management, as determined through consistent and constant evaluation in meeting specific business performance measures. Meeting standards in these major focus areas is essential to ensure the MCO’s sustainability to serve future generations.