About Us

The Montreal Chamber Orchestra (MCO) was founded in 1974 by its Artistic Director and Conductor Wanda Kaluzny with a unique performance philosophy that encompassed several specific goals:

Seek out up-and-coming soloists and be the first to present these future superstars to the Montreal public. Over the years the MCO has presented the Canadian débuts of many artists who have gone on to be recognized internationally. Ben Heppner, Gianna Corbisiero, Sara Davis Buechner, Judy Kang, Jens Lindemann and Sharon Kam are a few of the artists who performed with the MCO long before the rest of the world discovered them.

Explore a wide variety of unknown repertoire both classical and contemporary. The MCO has performed the world premieres of over two dozen Canadian compositions, many of which were written for, and dedicated to, the MCO. Furthermore, the MCO is always delighted to discover rarely performed works from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and share them with the audience.

In addition to successfully fulfilling these goals, the MCO achieved international acclaim by touring and through radio and television broadcasts. The CD, Suites for Strings, has been a great success at home and abroad and the MCO is proud to have been selected as the first Canadian orchestra to be featured in a PBS programme, Requiem for Nine-Eleven, produced by Vermont Public Television (VPT) in 2003 (rebroadcast in 2011). The MCO also recorded a second half-hour programme for VPT featuring works by Hofmann and J. C. Bach.

John F. Kennedy once said: “After the dust of the centuries has passed over our cities, we will be remembered not for the victories or defeats in battle or politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit.” The MCO’s contribution has been to recognize and present exciting new soloists and composers while enriching your musical lives!


♦ Under Kaluzny’s leadership, the MCO has earned a reputation for excellence and has achieved international recognition. Critics rave “the MCO’s music was flawlessly performed and Kaluzny’s direction was something to watch.”

Kaluzny was the first woman to guest conduct the Baden-Baden Symphony in Germany in 1990. In the words of the German press “she undoubtedly put to rest the prejudicial notion that conducting is a man’s job.”

♦ The MCO has provided a forum for Canadian composers and has presented the world premieres of two dozen works.