The core of the ensemble consists of twenty-eight string players, all full members of the MKO. In collaboration with a fixed pool of elite principal wind players from Europe’s leading orchestras, the MKO performs as a slender symphony orchestra with great versatility in terms of repertoire, style and structure. Since the beginning of the 2016/17 season, Bremen-born Clemens Schuldt is the new Principal Conductor.
Contemporary Music being a core element of the Orchestra's identity, MKO has premiered over eighty new works by composers including Iannis Xenakis, Wolfgang Rihm, Tan Dun, Chaya Czernowin, Georg Friedrich Haas, Pascal Dusapin, Salvatore Sciarrino and Jörg Widmann. Composers such as Beat Furrer, Erkki-Sven Tüür, Thomas Larcher, Milica Djordjevic, Clara Iannotta, Samir Odeh-Tamimi, Mark Andre, Peter Ruzicka, Marton Illes, Miroslav Srnka and Tigran Mansurian have fulfilled commissions from the MKO.