In 2001, a group of musicians—colleagues and friends from leading conservatories and music festivals across the country—collectively envisioned the creation of a democratically-run, self-conducted chamber orchestra that would thrive on the pure joy and camaraderie of classical music making. This organic approach and high level of passion and commitment resulted in ECCO (East Coast Chamber Orchestra), a dynamic collective that combines the strength and power of a great orchestral ensemble with the personal involvement and sensitivity of superb chamber music.
ECCO is comprised of some of today’s most vibrant and gifted young string players—soloists, chamber musicians, principals of major American orchestras, and Grammy Award winners. ECCO members play with the symphony orchestras of Minnesota, San Francisco, Chicago, St. Louis, Seattle, and Boston, among others. Members also play with the Enso, Jasper, Jupiter, and Parker Quartets, as well as the Horszowski Trio, Trio Cavatina, Sejong Soloists, Time for Three, and Chamber Music Society II. For a few concentrated periods of time each year, the members of ECCO meet for rehearsal and musical exploration. Cooking, eating, enjoying close friendships and now sharing tips for raising the next generation of ECCO are important aspects of their gatherings. Along with musical exploration, there is always an intense discussion to be had about the joys and challenges of maintaining a truly communal creative organization.
In 2012, ECCO celebrated its first decade of friendship and discovery with the release of its first commercial recording. It includes Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings in C Major Op. 48, Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony in C minor, Op. 110a and the exuberant and surprising "La Follia" Variations for String Orchestra, arranged by ECCO’s own Michi Wiancko after Francesco Geminiani’s Concerto Grosso No. 12 in D minor.
ECCO’s 2015-16 season includes the premieres of two commissioned works by composers Christopher Theofanidis and Pierre Jalbert. This season they will make their debuts at the Naumburg Orchestra Concerts in New York’s Central Park and the Soundings series of the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, TX along with return visits to the Skaneateles Festival, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and Peoples’ Symphony Concerts.