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, selfconducted 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 some of today’s most vibrant and gifted young string players -- soloists, chamber musicians, principals of major American orchestras, and GRAMMY award winners. ECCO members play with the symphony orchestras of Philadelphia, Minnesota, San Francisco, Chicago, St. Louis, Seattle, and Boston among others. Members also play with the Enso, Jasper, Jupiter, and Parker quartets, as well as the Horszowski Trio, Trio Cavatina, Sejong Soloists, Time for Three, and Chamber Music Society II. 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 about the joys and challenges of maintaining a truly communal creative organization.

In 2012, ECCO celebrated its first decade of friendship and discovery with the release of its first commercial recording on eOne. It includes Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings in C Major Op. 48, and the exuberant and surprising "La Follia" Variations for String Orchestra, arranged by ECCO’s own Michi Wiancko after Francesco Geminiani’s Concerto Grosso No. 12 in D Minor.

Among recent highlights were a Fall 2023 world premiere with pianist Shai Wosner of Handmaid Universe by Vijay Iyer, a 2021 tour with Wosner; return visits to Chamber Music Northwest, the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC and the Indianapolis Violin Competition; and a residency at UT Austin/Texas Performing Arts. Spring 2022 included their debut on the Phoenix Chamber Music Society Series. Their regular visits to the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and outdoor performances in Central Park for the Naumburg Orchestral Concerts with live broadcasts on WQXR are also treasured experiences.

Known for innovative programming with works old and new, they have premiered or championed numerous new works. In addition to the Iyer work, those include Christopher Theofanidis' 1000 Cranes, Pierre Jalbert's String Theory, Kenji Bunch's Supermaximum, Derek Bermel's Murmurations, and Christopher Cerrone's The Air Suspended with pianist Shai Wosner.