The Chamber Orchestra of Europe was conceived at the Salzburg Festival in August 1980 when around 40 of the most experienced members of the European Community Youth Orchestra, at the time performing with Herbert von Karajan, decided to form a chamber orchestra to enable them to continue performing together on a professional and long term basis. Since then the COE has enjoyed established relationships with many of the world’s great conductors but in particular with Claudio Abbado, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Paavo Berglund and Bernard Haitink.
HarrisonParrott is honoured to work alongside the COE management on their international touring profile. During 2008/09, HarrisonParrott arranged a tour of Spain with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Janine Jansen; such was its success that they were re-invited to Spain in October 2010. We were delighted to arrange performances in Europe during 2009 for the COE with Pierre-Laurent Aimard directing from the keyboard in two programmes of Beethoven's Piano Concertos. In summer 2009 and 2010 the COE continued their collaboration with Aimard in major residencies at the Mostly Mozart Festival, New York. Future plans include a return to Spain in May 2013 with Semyon Bychkov and Lisa Batiashvili. The COE will be collaborating again with Pierre-Laurent Aimard on a European tour in Sept 2013.
"The musicians ignored hand-me-down clichés, defied interpretive traditions and, most important, performed as if communal lives were at stake… The wanderers played here with overwhelming propulsion, cohesion and precision. For once in New York, a standing ovation was genuinely earned." (Financial Times, August 2012)
"Conductors speak of this "Ambassador for the European Union" in the highest terms. But the musicians demonstrated how good they were without a guiding hand in this third concert of the series "Philharmonie für Einsteiger" with works from the Viennese classics and post-war moderns. One was amazed by the perfectly matched tone, rhythmic precision, dynamism and adaptability of the Orchestra." (Kölner Stadtanzeiger, December 2011)
“The COE gave two exquisitely detailed performances of Brahms with pianist Emanuel Ax and Bernard Haitink… The veteran conductor produced a Fourth Symphony of impeccable lucidity, with pizzicato as clear as bowed notes and a deliciously peppery tone from the bassoons.” (The Independent on Sunday, August 2011)
“And thank goodness for the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and conductor Bernard Haitink, who were on such beautifully lucid, strong form in the 4th Symphony.” (The Daily Telegraph, August 2011)
“The Chamber Orchestra of Europe is extremely reactive: everything happens immediately. It is not just an orchestra, it is most of all an ensemble of musicians of an exceptional level.” (Le Figaro, January 2011)