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Sir Colin Davis 1927- 2013

Submitted on: 15 April 2013

ECO members and staff were very sad indeed to learn of Sir Colin's death last night.  His long and fruitful relationship with the ECO started in 1960 when he was appointed our very first Principal Conductor, and continued until last Summer.  He became the ECO's Conductor Emeritus in 2009. 

His discography with the ECO ranges from recordings made in 1959 (Purcell for L'Oiseau Lyre, just before the ECO's change of name), through a series of Mozart Piano Concertos with Alicia de Larrocha for RCA/BMG, to several Berlioz recordings including Sara La Baigneuse, Meditation Religieuse, La Mort de Ophelie (1962), L'Enfance du Christ (with Peter Pears for L'Oiseau Lyre, 1960), La Mort de Cleopatra (L'Oiseau Lyre,1962) and Les Nuits d'ete (with Barbara Hendricks for EMI in 1993).  He also recorded music by Stravinsky, Britten, Haydn, JS and JC Bach with the ECO over the years.  Live recordings included Bach Violin Concertos with David and Igor Oistrakh (RFH, 1961), a Mozart Gala (Buckingham Palace, 1991) and Mozart and Bach Double Piano Concertos (Cadogan Hall, 2007).

Sir Colin's very last concert was with the ECO in Santander Festival on 17 August 2012 and was devoted to music by his beloved Mozart:
The overture to La Clemenza di Tito, the "Linz" Symphony and "Posthorn" Serenade. 

He was due to conduct a Schubert and Mendelssohn concert with the Orchestra a month later in Milan, but fell ill during the tour and was unable to perform. 

Sir Colin was a inspirational musician of truly international standing, and a man of great intelligence, warmth and wit.  We will greatly miss him, and send our condolences to all his family.

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ECO in Moscow

Submitted on: 11 April 2013

The ECO was honoured to be chosen to give the final Gala concert of the IVth  International Mstislav Rostropovich Festival in Moscow on 2nd April 2013 at the stunning Hall of Columns.


The event was centred around Britten’s Cello Symphony, which the ECO first performed and recorded with Rostropovich as soloist and the composer himself conducting.   Britten also loved conducting the ECO in music by Mozart and with that in mind we chose the Overture to Don Giovanni and Symphony No.41, Jupiter, to complete the programme. 


Paul Watkins conducted and Arto Noras was cello soloist in a fabulously exciting performance.


The whole concert was a resounding success, and a worthy tribute both to Rostropovich and also to Britten in his centenary year.



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Close Encounters: Spring Fever in Kent

Submitted on: 20 March 2013

On March 5th - 7th, ECO musicians visited primary schools in Kent for our "Spring Fever" outreach project. This project is part of our ongoing Creative Connections partnership with St. Edmund's School, Canterbury.

Pupils aged 5 - 9 participated in workshops based on Vivaldi's “Spring” from The Four Seasons. The children explored elements of dynamics and rhythm through activities led by ECO musicians Jeremy Isaac, Natalia Bonner and Tim Lowe.

A big thank you to the staff and pupils at St. Edmund's Pre-Prep School, Stelling Minnis CE Primary School and Wingham Primary School. We look forward to visiting again!

Click here to see photos and feedback from the project

For more information on our Close Encounters programme, contact info@englishchamberorchestra.co.uk

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Beethoven 9 in St. Pauls Cathedral

Submitted on: 13 March 2013

We're excited to announce a performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in St. Paul's Cathedral on Thursday May 23.

The ECO will be conducted by Howard Williams, with a joint choir of Voices from Trinity Laban Conservatoire and the Choir of the 21st Century. Soloists: Elizabeth Llewellyn, Sarah ConnollyAndrew Kennedy and Mark Stone. The concert is part of The Lord Mayor's Appeal.

Click here to buy tickets

In other news, we are running competitions this week on Twitter and Facebook for tickets to a recital by Nick van Bloss on March 22, in the 'It's All About Piano!' Festival at the Institut Français. The ECO recorded the Bach Keyboard Concertos with the renowned pianist - we hope you'll check out our pages for a chance to win! See the Festival website here.

See our latest e-newsletter

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ECO Recommends: Event of the Month

Submitted on: 07 March 2013

March 23rd, Divinity School at St. John's College, Cambridge

A symposium and memorial concert for the late Reverend Michael Till, trustee of the ECO for many years.

Part of an Introductory Weekend on the Taubman Technique, led by members of the Golandsky Institute in New York.

Symposium on technique and performance, offering practical solutions for violinists and pianists

Followed by a concert given by the celebrated expert in the keyboard works of JS Bach, Father Sean Duggan. Featuring the 15 Sinfonias BWV 787 - 801

Find out more

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Upcoming Concerts

ECO in Reading

30 April 2014 at 19.30 - Hexagon Theatre


ECO in Malvern

02 May 2014 at 19.45 - The Forum Theatre, Malvern


Newbury Spring Festival

10 May 2014 at 19.30 - St Nicolas Church Newbury


ECO Ensemble in Gloucestershire

23 May 2014 at 19.30 - Northleach Church, Gloucestershire

More upcoming concerts...
ECO On the Road Blog
ECO London Series
London Series
Maxim Vengerov will conduct and play in the ECO's opening concert of the 2012/13 season, with guest soloists Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Behzod Abduraimov. This special Celebration Concert will take place on Monday 1st October 2012 at London's Royal Festival Hall. See ECO concerts diary for further details.