East Coast   Chamber Orchestra

Tuesday, March 17, 2015     7:30 pm

Harris Concert Hall, University of Memphis

ECCO2 2000 pixels

The critically acclaimed East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO) is comprised of some of today’s most vibrant and gifted young string players — soloists, chamber musicians, and members of major American symphony orchestras, including Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, St. Louis, Seattle and Boston. ”The clarity of the playing and the cohesiveness of the group’s musical expression are astounding.” — Listen Magazine.  “The sound of the ensemble mixed the transparency and coherence of a string quartet with an orchestra’s warmth and heft.” — The New York Times


Canzonetta for String Orchestra                     Jean Sibelius

String Quartet No. 1 knspired by Tolstoy’s “Kreutzer Sonata”      Leos Janacek

Variations on “La Follia” for string orchestra          Wiancko/Geminiani/Corelli

Serenade for Strings                     Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Concerts International 2014-2015 Season

Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014        Kavafian-Schub-Shifrin Trio

Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014          Philharmonia Quartett Berlin (Berlin Philharmonic Quartet)

Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015      Cann Sisters Piano Duo

Tuesday, Mar. 17, 2015         East Coast Chamber Orchestra

Wednesday, Apr. 8, 2015      Dover Quartet with Victor Asuncion, piano



3775 Central Avenue, Memphis, TN 38111

Harris Concert Hall – University of Memphis

Parking Information

Free parking in the University of Memphis parking lot on the north side of Central Avenue.

Click here for parking map.    Wheelchair accessible.

Program Notes

Canzonetta for String Orchestra                     Jean Sibelius

This lovely canzonetta welcomes us to tonight’s concert. A waltz in a minor key feels contemplative. And so it begins, a gift of music that bridges our busy lives with a relaxing evening of lush strings. Sit back. Close your eyes. Dream
About Sibelius
A Finnish composer whose music played a vital role in the formation of his country’s national identity. His best known work is Finlandia, and Finland celebrates their flag day on the composer’s birthday, December 8. Before the conversion to the Euro, Finland had Sibelius’ picture on their 100 mark note. While most countries print the likeness of a politician on their money, Finland chose their beloved composer.

String Quartet No. 1 inspired by Tolstoy’s “Kreutzer Sonata”      Leos Janacek

I love comfort food. Don’t you? And you will be getting that soon with the incomparable Tchaikowsky Serenade.  For now what you will get is a great work by Czech composer and troubled soul, Leos Janacek. As a contemporary of Dvorak and lover of folk music, Janacek was many things: a great organist, a choral composer, and a pride to his country. What a country, full of strife and poverty. That is what you’ll hear now. If it makes your jaw clench and your mind whirl with how this music throws itself at you, then you might pause and appreciate the composers from eastern Europe whose lives would never have been described as ‘comfort food.’ And you just might hear some of your own roots in the melodies played on soulful strident strings.

About tonight’s composition

The Kreutzer sonata is based on a novella by Tolstoy. In the story, a jealous husband kills his wife because of his suspicion that she is unfaithful which proved not to be the case. Janacek wrote this quartet as a protest against violence against women. I believe this explains some of the somberness of the piece.

Variations on “La Follia” for string orchestra          Wiancko/Geminiani/Corelli

(Note provided by ECCO musician and arranger, Michi Wiancko)
La Follia in its purest form refers to a simple harmonic structure which has been borrowed and used by over 150 composers during the last three centuries. Ever since I was a young girl, I’ve loved playing Corelli’s “La Follia” violin sonata (1700). The melody and underlying harmonic progressions are simple and inspired, yet dark and deeply powerful.

In recent years, I’ve fallen in love with another version of La Follia — Geminiani’s Concerto Grosso , also from the early 18th century. This is the version on which I based my Variations on “La Follia” for String Orchestra when I arranged it for ECCO in 2007. Although I’ve kept the structure of the piece intact, I stray from Geminiani’s path here and there. Percussive elements have been added as well as drastic fluctuations in tempi, dynamics and textures. Not to mention a couple of “home-made” variations!

ECCO took La Follia on tour throughout New York. We performed the piece at Rockefeller University, Town Hall, the Union Hall Series in Schenectady, and BargeMusic in Brooklyn. Last summer, one of our live performances of the variations was broadcast over NPR’s Performance Today with Fred Child.

Serenade for Strings                     Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Tonight may be your first time hearing the Serenade. Remember this date so as you reminisce in the years to come, you’ll recall how this music touched you, brought tears to your eyes and goose bumps to your arms or the back of your neck. If this piece is a familiar friend, then you already have a relationship built on beauty, trust, and excitement. What else might you hear? A soaring sound that fills your chest, a conversation between the string sections, counter melodies, then abruptly a minor passage moving you back to that big Tchaikovsky sound. Sit back for the next 31 minutes, enjoying every moment of this sumptuous feast.

East Coast Chamber Orchestra
Noah Geller
Nicolas Kendall
Karen Kim
Min-Young Kim
Salley Koo
Susie Park
Annaliesa Place
Sandy Yamamoto

Stephanie Fong
Robert Meyer
Jessica Thompson
Cong Wu


Na-Young Baek
Andrea Lee
Kenneth Olsen
David Requiro

Nathan Farrington

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, 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 soloists, chamber musicians, members of major American orchestras, and GRAMMY award winners, many with roots at the Marlboro Music Festival. The orchestra’s debuts in venues such as New York’s Town Hall and the Kennedy Center confirmed its position as one of the most exceptional ensembles of today’s generation, whose fresh interpretations, coupled with passionate and joyous playing, earn it standing ovations and re‐engagements. 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.

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Concerts International brings the world’s best chamber music to Memphis. This long-running chamber music series is an important part of the richly varied music scene in Memphis, from the Blues, Elvis and Graceland, Sun Studio, Beale Street, Stax Records Museum and Academy, the Memphis Rock and Soul Museum, and the Gibson Guitar Factory and Museum to Opera Memphis, the Memphis Symphony, and more.

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