ECO in Conservatorio di Milano

I was sitting in the sold-out Sala Verdi before the start of the concert last night, wondering whether there would be any Milanese booing at the fact that the Festival had not replaced Sir Colin Davis with an equally eminent conductor, or even any conductor at all.  However, the audience warmly greeted the entry of the ECO players onto the platform and the first sound I heard from a man in the row behind after the Hebrides Overture came to an end , was a heartfelt “wow”,  before the audience broke into extremely loud applause.  The whole concert buzzed; the audience seemed to know that every member of the orchestra was giving 110%.  It was like listening to a 45 piece chamber ensemble.  What more can I say myself but “Thank you so much to all our players for a terrific performance.”Pauline Gilbertson – General Manager


ECO Thursday Quiz on Twitter – Prize: Two tickets to An Evening of Celebrating Five Decades of ECO

Q:  This vintage film clip features a song set to a tune from which of the ECO’s most performed works?

A:  It is set to the Waltz from Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings; one of the ECO’s favourite and most frequently performed works.

The first correct answer came for our good friend on Twitter Can Okan @cantristan.  Congratulations and we will be in touch with details of the prize tickets.

You can next hear the orchestra play it the Royal Festival Hall in London on 1st October.

ECO Thursday Quiz on Twitter – No 8

ECO Thursday Quiz – No 8


Where was this tour photo taken and which major composer is it commemorating?


@MusicalCynicism – Warsaw – Chopin.



Absolutely! It was taken in Lazienki Park, Warsaw and is the statue of Chopin designed by Waclaw Szymanowski to commemorate the centenary of the composer’s birth in 1910.

ECO Thursday Quiz on Twitter – No 7


Which cellist caused a scene at a 1938 @wigmore_hall concert by quitting the stage saying “I can’t play this thing.”?


@mcconnell:  James Whitehead of the Philharmonic Trio during a performance of a Webern Trio.

@themusicalbrain: Damn – missed our chance at @ECOrchestra’s #ECOThursdayQuiz due to the swift response of @mcconnell.

ECOrchestra Response

Congratulations @mcconnell who’s lightning quick-draw response pipped even @themusicalbrain to the post.  Hmm are we over mixing our metaphors there?

As a member of the Philharmonic Trio James Whitehead walked off the Wigmore Hall stage during a concert after playing only a few bars of Webern’s String Trio, Op. 20, exclaiming “I can’t play this thing – a nightmare – not music at all, but mathematics“.

James Whitehead was an extremely respected cellist and chamber musician in London during the 1930s and 1940s. On 3 May 1944 he participated in a concert at the National Gallery with the ECO’s founder Arnold Goldsborough, piano and Eda Kersey and Olive Zorian, violins. (We understand he stayed in his seat for this one!)

ECO Thursday Quiz on Twitter – No 6


Horsewoman Lucinda Green, composer Josef Suk, runner Steve Cram and the USA baseball team have what in common?


@themusicalbrain:  All won silver medals at Olympics held in LA (1932 or 1984). Although technically no medal for US team, but they placed 2nd.

ECOrchestra Response

We were absolutely delighted that our good friend @themusicalbrain came back with a lightning fast and completely correct response to our #ECOThursdayQuiz on Twitter.

Indeed, they have all won a silver medal at an Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

At the 1984 Los Angeles games Lucinda Green won the equestrian team eventing silver medal, Steve Cram won the 1500 meters athletics silver medal in the main event and the USA baseball team won the baseball silver medal in the demonstration event.  Josef Suk won his silver medal at the 1932 Los Angeles games, where there was an Art competition alongside the main event, for the symphonic march ‘Into a New Life.’

Maestro Ralf Gothoni receiving the Reina Sofía School of Music award from Her Majesty the Queen of Spain


Madrid, July 2012

Last Tuesday, June 12th, during the ceremony closing the 2011-2012 academic year of the Reina Sofía School of Music, Maestro Ralf Gothoni received from Her Majesty the Queen of Spain the award of this high educational center.  The award ceremony took place at the Palacio Real de El Pardo during the Gala closing the 2011-12 academic year of the Reina Sofía School of Music.

Since 2006 Ralph Gothoni is Head of the Groups with Piano Department of the International Institute of Chamber Music of Madrid, an institution created by the Albéniz Foundation in order to have available in the capital of Spain a chamber music center based on excellence and       of international characteristics, whose academic direction falls on the Reina Sofía School.   With this distinction, the School recognizes the academic and artistic educational work of Maestro Gothoni, head since the 2005-2006 academic year of this center of high professional education, unique in its activity, as well as invited professor within the framework of the master classes programme – since 2001 – and of the Santander Encounter of Music and Academy.

During the same ceremony, Her Majesty also presented an award to Günther Pichler, Head of the Department of Chamber Music in Madrid, and the prestigious Yehudi Menuhin Prize for the Integration of the Arts and Education to the pianist and pedagogue Menahem Pressler.

The ceremony closed with a concert with Maestro Maximiano Valdés conducting the School’s SONY Chamber Orchestra, with soloists Zakhar Bron, Head of the Telefónica Violin Chair, and his pupil Ellinor D’Melon, with a programme that included Richard Wagner’s  “Siegfried Idyll” for chamber orchestra WWW 103 and Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Concerto for two violins in RE minor BWV 1043”.

ECO Thursday Quiz on Twitter – No 5


Beethoven: “conflict between head and heart” followed by a “conversation with the beloved.” Of which work is he talking?


@cantristan – Piano Sonata No 27, Opus 90


Yes! Beethoven’s two movement Piano Sonata No 27 in E minor Op. 90.  According to Schindler Beethoven made this comment to Count Lichnowsky to whom the Sonata is dedicated.