A few years ago, Erwin Schrottner and his Erwin Cooks team travelled to Salzburg to film the below segment about Salzburg’s Mozart Kinderorchester — an ensemble of more than 60 performers aged between seven and twelve, run by the Stiftung Mozarteum Salzburg. Annually, they present two concerts during Mozart Week, featuring music from C.P.E Bach and Mozart to Elliott Carter and Arvo Pärt under the baton of conductor and leader Peter Manning.
Unlike many youth orchestras, in which musicians are usually in their teens, the Kinderorchester gets its players when they’re particularly young. “The Mozart Children’s Orchestra is intended as a motivation for young musicians,” the ensemble’s web page says:
We are convinced that Mozart’s music is particularly suitable as the prime aim of such a project, and we hope the orchestra will provide a strong incentive and an exemplary contribution to early musical training. Even very young musicians are capable of fulfilling the technical and musical demands of works by Mozart and other composers, and of conveying their enthusiasm to audiences.
Above all the experience of playing in an orchestra is crucial for the motivation for young children. In our region it is difficult to become part of an ensemble at an early age (usually not before a musician is 15 years old) and so the orchestra should also be an example for other children, motivating them perhaps to learn to play an instrument.
As the segment below will indicate, this ain’t no high school band; if there’s anything like it in the US, I’d like to know about it. This is ensemble playing of a high order; no wonder Austria’s always been a capital of classical music. More about the ensemble can be found here, but for now, relax and enjoy the show. (And to learn more about Erwin Cooks, try this.)