The origin of the National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia (NCOA) dates back to the Soviet era. It was founded by the violinist Zareh Sahakiants as the Armenian State Chamber Orchestra in 1961. In 1997 it was merged with the Yerevan Chamber Orchestra to form the new NCOA. As of September 2010 the Principal Conductor and Music Director is Vahan Mardirossian.
In April 1997, Armenia’s Ministry of Culture extended a special invitation to American-Armenian conductor Aram Gharabekian and appointed him as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the newly formed National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia. The twenty-five members of the NCOA exemplify the finest chamber music players in Armenia who are all graduates of the Komitas Conservatory in Yerevan.
The Cello Concerto No.1 in C Major, Hob. VIIb/1, by Joseph Haydn was composed around 1761–1765 for longtime friend Joseph Weigl, then the principal cellist of Prince Nicolaus's Esterhazy Orchestra. The work was presumed lost until 1961, when musicologist Oldrich Pulkert discovered a copy of the score at the Prague National Museum. Though some doubts have been raised about the authenticity of the work, most experts believe that Haydn did compose this concerto.
The Sofia Soloists Chamber Orchestra (SSCO) is based in Sofia, Bulgaria. The ensemble was established in 1962 by a group of young musicians who played with the Sofia National Opera. Their first concert conducted by Michail Angelov was well-received, and shortly afterward they began a schedule of concerts and international tours.
In 2014 the ensemble has completed more than 3000 concerts and have won awards from international music festivals in Germany, France, Spain, Croatia, Italy, Belgium and Norway. Their performances are widely available as recordings
This is the 1990 EMI Angel release 'Richard Strauss - Hornkonzerte' played by English Chamber Orchestra led by Jeffrey Tate and featuring soloists Radovan Vlatkovic (horn) and Ann Murray (mezzo-soprano).
Schubert's 'Wanderer Fantasy' and Schumann's 'Fantasie' are two highly remarkable works: while musically embodying the romantic spirit of the age in their unconventional structures and lyrically imaginative styles, they also act as self-portraits to their creators through the evocation of their creative process. In these new orchestrations by Joseph James, the familiar beauty of the works is rekindled in exciting and fresh interpretations performed by the illustrious English Chamber Orchestra alongside concertante solos from members of the Schubert Ensemble.
This recording, made in 1991, dates from what was perhaps the heyday of the English Chamber Orchestra (although the group's vigorous activities remain undiminished). The ECO, with origins as a conductorless Baroque orchestra, functioned smoothly as an ensemble, with a restrained sound and a high level of mutual sensitivity among the players. In these late Haydn symphonies, that translated into readings that were exceptionally effective in bringing out the humorous details and asides, the extensions of phrases so that they end with a wink or a joke, that are the essence of late Haydn. The orchestra is probably about the size of the one Haydn had at his disposal in London.