On July 13, 2023 The English Chamber Orchestra arrives in Bulgaria to impress the audience. 

The concert will feature 21 musicians, virtuosos of strings and wind instruments. One of the distinguished guests at the English Chamber Orchestra's concert in Sofia will be the magical violinist Stephanie Gonley, conducting from the first violin. She has been a leader of ECO since the early 1990s and an effective professor of violin at the Guildhall School.

On the square "St. Alexander Nevsky" we will also hear live another of the great musicians of our time - concert master John Mills. Leader of the London Symphony, he has worked with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmony, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and more. In addition, he is the leader of large studio orchestras working on some of the most expensive movie blockbusters in Hollywood - "Batman", "Jurassic Park", "Beauty and the Beast", "Thor: Love and the Storm", etc..

The program will be honored with the presence of young Bulgarian talents who will perform specially developed Bulgarian folk songs to the accompaniment of the English Chamber Orchestra as a tribute to the native audience. And the main place will be occupied by works by Mozart, Handel, Bach and Elgar.

One of the greatest orchestras of our time will perform its first concert in our country, and Sofia will become the host of art of the highest degree.The event is part of the Cultural Calendar of Sofia Municipality and is implemented with its support. Exclusive media partner of the event is bTV.

The ECO is one of the world’s leading chamber orchestras, having performed in more countries than any other orchestra, recorded over 1,500 works and played with the world’s greatest musicians in its five decades of history. Over the years its soloists and conductors have included Vladimir Ashkenazy, Janet Baker, Daniel Barenboim, Benjamin Britten, Colin Davis, Placido Domingo, Kiri te Kanawa, Raphael Kubelik, Raymond Leppard, Yehuhi Menuhin, David Oistrakh, Luciano Pavarotti, Murray Perahia, Itzhak Perlman, Andre Previn, Karl Richter, Mstislav Rostropovich, Georg Solti, Isaac Stern, Mitsuko Uchida, Maxim Vengerov and Pinchas Zukerman.

Since 1977 the ECO is delighted to have had as its Patron HM King Charles III and the Orchestra has performed at many royal events for him and his family, including the late Queen Mother’s 90th birthday celebrations (1990), The Prince of Wales’ 50th birthday Gala Concert (1998) and also the first concert ever to be broadcast from Buckingham Palace.

The ECO is proud of its outreach programme, Close Encounters, which takes music and educational projects into communities and schools around the UK and overseas, including South Africa, Bermuda and Qatar.

The English Chamber Orchestra is the most recorded chamber orchestra in the world, its discography containing 860 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 the USA, Bermuda, China, Finland, France, Greece, Slovenia and Austria (culminating in a concert at Vienna’s Musikverein) as well as concerts across the UK and at London’s Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Kings Place and Cadogan Hall.

The Orchestra has been chosen to record many successful film soundtracks including Dario Marianelli’s prizewinning scores for Atonement and Pride and Prejudice, and several James Bond soundtracks, and has taken part in a variety of other film and television projects.