Three Dogs Perform Mozart’s Music!

The Danish Chamber Orchestra goes all out for art.

Oct 19, 2023


Music, Pet
Three Dogs Perform Mozart’s Music! | The Danish Chamber Orchestra goes all out for art.

Has one of the stalwarts of Denmark’s culture scene gone barking mad? You would be excused for thinking so, because three highly-trained pooches did indeed “perform” with the Danish Chamber Orchestra. They took the stage for the Hunting Symphony or Jagdsinfonie, a piece of music composed by Leopold Mozart, the father of the more famous Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, at this year’s Haydn Festival in Copenhagen.This work calls for baying hounds, reported the Washington Post

These pet pooches auditioned, went through training, and then took to the stage with their treat-dispensing owners, keen to play their part at the designated moments to the delight of most of the concert-going audience.

This was for real!
It’s all true! Once animal lover and the orchestra’s chief conductor, Adam Fischer, got the green light to feature actual dogs in his team’s performance of this Mozart piece, recruitment began in earnest, This involved a type of “Pup Idol,” Classic Fm quipped. The candidates were tested on their ability to start and stop barking, as well as on how they reacted to the music.

The three successful hounds, Sophus, Cookie and Sica, a spaniel, a Spanish water dog, and a German shepherd, went on to rehearse successfully with their owners with the help of plenty of motivating treats, as AFP shares, before staring at the classical music festival in Copenhagen in September.

Training lasted three months, because, Jacaranda FM explains, the dogs had to be taught not only to bark on command, but also how to stay silent during the rest of the performance

On the day itself, the dogs pranced onstage with their humans before an audience of 750 people. On cue, they barked along with the instruments. 

Helle Leuvring, the fur parent of Cookie, one of the dogs, shares her reasons for sending her pooch to audition in the clip from Euronews Culture: “We like classical music very much in our family, and we have been to several of their [Danish Chamber Orchestra] concerts And when we saw that they wanted dogs to audition to participate at this Haydn festival,  we thought that it would be fantastic. If I had to be there by myself I think I would be nervous but all the attention is on her, and you know she is the star. I’m just behind her with all the treats.”

“I’ve been training Cookie for many years, and I knew she could bark when I asked her to and that she would be perfect for the job,” Lauvring also shared with the Washington Post. 

Is this a performance first?
While recordings of dogs barking are usually featured wherever this composition is performed, this is not the first time that an orchestra has ventured into following the original directions of the composer. 

In 2014, AFP reports, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra presented the piece with hounds on stage. 

Conductor Fischer had already conducted the piece accompanied by a real-life dog to honor Mozart's intention. This happened in Budapest, some 20 years ago, he shared with the Washington Post, though with just one hound.

According to Classic FM, some recordings of the symphony, which is written for horns and strings, go all-out by including shouts and even gunshots as well as barking dogs.

And adding dogs to cultural activities is a great leveler, believes Andreas Vetö, CEO of the Danish Chamber Orchestra He believes that everyone can relate to seeing a dog keen to perform, which challenges the perception of classical music as elitist: “The dogs showed us that suddenly we can communicate music to an audience that would not necessarily listen to classical music,” he told the Washington Post.

Don’t forget to give a round of a paws!

Introducing the Spiritual Meaning of Dogs
Forever Pad Found for Cute North Carolina Dog and Goat Besties!
Adorable Dog Parade for California Man’s 100th Birthday

Daphne has a background in editing, writing and global trends. She is inspired by trends seeing more people care about sharing and protecting resources, enjoying experiences over products and celebrating their unique selves. Making the world a better place has been a constant motivation in her work.