- Über uns
Since it was founded in 1952 the Chamber Orchestra Mannheim (KKO) has focussed particularly on the rediscovery and care of the Mannheim School of Music, and thus has become the traditional and direct successor of the famous Mannheimer Hofkapelle (Mannheim Court Orchestra) of the times of Elector Palatinate Carl Theodor (1724-1799).
Due to Carl Theodor's modern and enlightened mind during the years of his reign Mannheim and the Palatinate developed into one of the most innovative and progressive regions in Germany and Europe in the spheres of sciences and arts. It was in the realm of concert music above all that he succeeded in setting new standards by attracting the best composers and musicians of his time to the court of Mannheim – among them Johann Stamitz and his sons Anton and Carl, Franz Xaver Richter, Ignaz Holzbauer or Christian Cannabich – musicians who by their musical power were to point the way to a new orchestral culture. Indeed, classical instrumental music as we know it today would not be conceivable without the efforts of the Court Orchestra and the achievements of the Mannheim School. When Carl Theodor moved to Munich in 1778, the brilliant era of musical history ended and was slowly forgotten in the course of time.
It was only when the Chamber Orchestra Mannheim was formed that the Mannheim School of Music returned to the rivers Rhine and Neckar, bringing it back to the attention of a broad public. By decades of untiring efforts – e.g. numerous concerts, radio broadcasts and recordings or work editions – many important compositions of the Mannheim composers have found their way back into concert programmes worldwide. To many friends of music in the whole world the Mannheim School is linked closely with the KKO – even more so: this orchestra is considered the representative of the Mannheim School.
To this day the Chamber Orchestra Mannheim has made an indispensable contribution to the outstandingly rich heritage of musical history in the region keeping it alive far outside its regional borders. Many concerts in renowned venues such as Gasteig Munich, the Glocke in Bremen or the Church of Our Lady (Frauenkirche) in Dresden as well as regular invitations to national and international festivals testify to the outstanding musical quality of this orchestra, its enthusiasm and the wide scope of its repertoire ranging from baroque to contemporary compositions, thus guaranteeing first-class performances of the preclassical as well as classical periods.