In 1992, conductor and horn player Sylvia Alimena, together with several of her National Symphony Orchestra colleagues, founded Eclipse Chamber Orchestra. Now one of the nation’s premier chamber ensembles, the group presents exceptional performances of diverse repertoire. In its twenty-five years, ECO has proudly premiered works by Mark Adamo, Thomas Myron, David Teie, and Truman Harris. The group’s enthusiastically reviewed recordings include a collaboration with organist William Neil and two CDs on Naxos: Late Victorians, featuring the music of Mark Adamo, and a collection of Florian Gassmann’s opera overtures, featured regularly on WETA-FM. Reviews in the Washington Post and Fanfare magazine praise the group for its “extraordinary precision and cohesion,” calling its performances “top-notch,” “exemplary,” “superlative,” and “beautifully nuanced.”
ECO takes great pride in spotlighting its members as soloists on every concert; our audiences enjoy hearing up close the artists they see only from afar at venues like the Kennedy Center. The orchestra also showcases its musicians in a series of intimate chamber music concerts at The Lyceum in Alexandria.
Conductor Leonard Slatkin and violinist Joseph Silverstein (former Boston Symphony concertmaster) have each made guest appearances with ECO. Our second music director, David Teie (2013-2016), premiered his own orchestration of Brahms’ C minor piano quartet, as well as his flute concerto and a musical setting of Walt Whitman poems. As we begin our twenty-fifth season, we welcome Abel Pereira (like our founder, a horn player) as ECO’s third music director.
Abel Pereira, Music Director
Theresa Cigan, President
Carole Bean, Vice-President and Treasurer
William Wright, Secretary
Dr. William P. Brose
Marianna V. Gray
Alice Kogan Weinreb
Sylvia Alimena, Music Director Emerita
To celebrate classical music that performers love to play and listeners love to hear.
Through world-class performances, live and in recordings, the musicians of the Eclipse Chamber Orchestra (ECO) share their celebration of classical music with music lovers everywhere. Members of major symphony orchestras, the virtuoso professional ensemble embraces a repertoire of familiar and new music that leaves audiences applauding for more. Talks by the music director and musicians before each piece bring extra delight and appreciation of each performance, making even the most unfamiliar classical works understandable. Reaching out to perform in schools, ECO players encourage the students to share a love and appreciation of the classical sound.
Begun in 2010, Eclipse Chamber Orchestra’s “Adopt a School” program invites students to experience the joy of music making, the value of teamwork and the individual and collective discipline needed to achieve great musical performances. ECO brings music to area students, allowing them to attend a working rehearsal of the orchestra in their school’s auditorium. Throughout the rehearsal, the conductor explains musical points to the student audience. During breaks, ECO musicians and students interact, heightening the collegiality of the musical experience.
Major objectives of the “Adopt a School” program include: