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Chamber Orchestra of Europe

The Chamber Orchestra of Europe (COE) was founded in 1981 by a group of young musicians who became acquainted as part of the European Community Youth Orchestra (now EUYO). There are now about 60 members of the COE (still 13 founding members), who pursue parallel careers as principals or section leaders of nationally-based orchestras, as eminent chamber musicians, and as tutors of music.

As one of the first ‘independent’ orchestras (independent sponsorship, funding and the foundation by the musicians themselves) it had become a pioneer and a role model for many generations of young orchestra musicians.

The members travel from various European countries to the respective place of the current project. The ensemble unites different cultures, languages and schools and as a result they win a flexible, professional, focused and open working atmosphere.

The Brexit and it’s unpredictable consequences is confrontating the ensemble based in London with new challenges. In partnership with the Kronberg Academy, the COE will become the first-ever orchestra-in-residence at the future Casals Forum in Kronberg (close to Frankfurt/Main) from 2021.

On 26 January and 9 March 2019 the COE is returning to the Kammermusiksaal in Berlin, where it held a residency from 1988 to 2002. Building upon the vast legacy of its founding mentor Claudio Abbado, the COE has been invited by the Berlin Philharmonie to take part in a special concert series in his memory, to mark the 5th anniversary of his death on 20 January 2014.

Currently the Orchestra works closely with Bernard Haitink, Sir András Schiff and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who are all Honorary Members. The 2018-19 season will see the COE perform with Robin Ticciati, Sir Antonio Pappano, Leonidas Kavakos, Janine Jansen, Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider and Pierre-Laurent Aimard. From 14-16 March the orchestra will have concerts at the Klarafestival in Brussels, Antwerp and Bruges.

With more than 250 works in its discography, the COE’s CDs have won numerous international prizes, including two Grammys and three Gramophone Record of the Year Awards. The recent release (18 January 2019) is a recording of works by Schumann with Bernd Haitink and Gautier Capu√ßon (Erato/Warner).

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