The English Chamber Orchestra is the most recorded chamber orchestra in the world, its discography containing 857 recordings of over 1,500 works by more than 400 composers.
The ECO has also performed in more countries than any other orchestra, and played with many of the world’s greatest musicians. The American radio network CPRN has selected ECO as one of the world’s greatest ‘living’ orchestras. 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.
Recent tours have included Azerbaijan and Germany with Pinchas Zukerman and Paul Watkins, Romania with Roy Goodman, Moscow with Stephanie Gonley, Austria with Sir Colin Davis and Bermuda Festival with Vladimir Ashkenazy. 2010/11 season included two tours to the Far East (Hilary Hahn, Stephanie Gonley and Dong-Suk Kang), the ECO’s first tour to Egypt and several European tours including concerts in Switzerland, Germany and France with Anna Netrebko and Paul Watkins. Future plans include tours with Anne-Sophie Mutter and Yuri Bashmet, Lisa Batiashvili and Daniel Muller-Schott, and a major celebration of the music of Benjamin Britten in 2013 (his centenary year). The ECO’s annual luxury Mediterranean Music Cruise is a highlight of the calendar, with guest artists in September 2011 including Pinchas Zukerman, Sergej Krylov, Plamena Mangova and Barbara Bonney.
The ECO has been chosen to record many successful film soundtracks (including several scores by John Barry and Dario Marianelli’s prizewinning soundtracks for Pride and Prejudice and Atonement) and has taken part in a variety of film and television projects.
The ECO is proud of its outreach programme, Close Encounters, which takes music into communities and schools around the UK and overseas. Further details of this and all ECO activities can be found at http://www.englishchamberorchestra.co.uk
You can also now become a fan of ECO on Facebook and Twitter(@ECOrchestra) in order to keep up to date with the Orchestra’s movements on tour in the UK and overseas.