The bigband was founded by the internationally acknowledged trumpet artist and composer, Kornél Fekete-Kovács in 2005 under the aegis of contemporary jazz. The ‘aegis’ originates in Greek meaning ‘the sky that protects from the storm’. Thus Modern Art Orchestra feels safe when being defenseless in unexplored fields of music – if we don’t consider those occasions when the band turns to the past musical tradition. Even the 5 staff of the music sheet are scores drawn at the surface of untouched spaces of music for the creative composers of the orchestra, so MAO’s aim has been to stretch the borders of contemporary classical music and jazz from the beginning. The musicians of the most innovative bigband of Hungary find protection in the musical medium itself: MAO is a musical workshop where creative artists mutually inspire each other. The 18-member-band collects the performers, band leaders and composers who are the most significant personalities in Hungarian jazz. Thanks to the outstanding crew the band has produced more than 25 hours of contemporary compositions dedicated to MAO, mostly written by the orchestra-members. These pieces are performed at the monthly organized composer’s nights concerts alongside the compositions of other talented contemporary composers’ who dedicate their work to MAO.
Modern Art Orchestra works regularly with Hungarian and international soloists, among whom we can find Veronika Harcsa, Mihály Dresch, and the world-known saxophonists, David Liebman and Bob Mintzer. For MAO the sound is very important. They not only stress the “what” but also the “how”. The quality of the sound experience determines the quality of the listening experience. The music of MAO takes the whole person and invites one to the presence because improvisation is placed in the center puting ‘here’ and ‘now’ in the main role.