English Chamber Orchestra
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English Chamber Orchestra

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Biography:

The ECO is one of the world’s leading chamber orchestras, having performed in more countries than any other orchestra, recorded over 1,200 works and played with the world’s greatest soloists in its 46 years of history, including Daniel Barenboim, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Isaac Stern, Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Mstislav Rostropovich. The ECO was the orchestra chosen to inaugurate London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, to play at its Patron HRH The Prince of Wales\’ wedding in St. Paul’s Cathedral and for his 50th birthday gala concert.

The illustrious history of the orchestra features many major musical figures. Benjamin Britten was the orchestra’s first Patron and a significant musical influence. The ECO’s long relationship with Daniel Barenboim led to an acclaimed complete cycle of Mozart piano concertos as live performances and recordings, followed later by two further recordings of the complete cycle, with Murray Perahia and Mitsuko Uchida. Jeffrey Tate was appointed as the first Principal Conductor in 1985, and was succeeded by Ralf Gothóni in 2000. The orchestra continues to attract musicians of the stature few chamber orchestras can match. Since its 40th Anniversary celebrations in 2000 it has toured around the world with artists such as Radu Lupu, Itzhak Perlman, Sarah Chang and Maxim Vengerov.

The ECO continues its uniquely successful series of Festivals at Sea – The Music Cruise with the English Chamber Orchestra. Guest soloists to date on these Caribbean and Mediterranean cruises include Vladimir Ashkenazy, Maxim Vengerov, Yuri Bashmet, Sumi Jo, Leon Fleisher, Steven Isserlis, Sarah Chang, Joshua Bell, Emanuel Ax and many other international musicians.

Since its inception the ECO has regularly commissioned new works, including Sheer by Anthony Gilbert (premiered in Prague, May 2006), the Concertino for Bassoon by Simon Proctor (premiered in Bristol, November 2005) and Pratirupa by John Tavener (premiered in London, November 2004 as part of the composer’s 60th birthday celebrations).

The ECO is proud of its outreach programme, Close Encounters, which takes music into communities and schools around the UK and overseas.

Upcoming Concerts:

English Chamber Orchestra has no upcoming tour dates. Please check back soon.