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What a journey!

Last night ERSO and the Camden Sinfonia went on a magical voyage around the world in our Musical Globetrotters Family concert, directed by conductor Tom Hammond.   We travelled to a Persian marketplace courtesy of Nielsen’s Aladdin, to sunny Spain via Carmen and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio Espagnol and the USA to see the cowboys in Copland’s HoeDown.

We were delighted to be joined by almost 30 talented young players from the Camden Sinfonia and their conductor Richard Martyn, and the young musicians blended expertly into the orchestra, creating some really beautiful music as we all played side-by-side together.

A truly special event for performers and audience alike!

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Who’s Behind the Baton?

Following a really exciting selection process, we can now reveal the conductors who will be given the opportunity to conduct ERSO in our “Behind the Baton” concert on May 20th

It was exceptionally difficult to choose, due to the extremely high standards demonstrated throughout the audition process.  We wish we could have picked them all!

Meet the three fantastic young conductors who have won the chance to take part in this exciting concert:


Vicente Chavarria, who will be conducting Rachmaninov’s the Rock.  Vicente is studying at the Royal College of Music with Peter Stark and Howard Williams.







Minhyung Lee, who will be conducting Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet.  Minhyung is currently in his first year of a Master’s degree at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, studying with Garry Walker.


finanFinan Jones, who will be conducting Gershwin’s An American in Paris.  Finan is studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.



London-based & looking for challenging & fun orchestral playing?

dynamic samThen get in touch with us at the Ernest Read Symphony Orchestra (ERSO), one of London’s leading and longest established amateur orchestra, which prides itself on high quality performance of diverse and challenging repertoire.  We play 5 or 6 concerts a year and hold around 3 or 4 rehearsals per concert on Sundays at Camden School for Girls.

We would love to hear from experienced (grade 8+) string and brass players who would like to join us and we are especially keen to find strong first violin players.

Our membership is diverse and includes conservatoire students, music teachers, professionals at the start of their careers and skilled and experienced amateur musicians.

IMGP4029We are a really friendly group playing to a very high standard under the direction of  excellent professional conductors.  Our string sections are led and coached by our professional leader John Crawford (Trinity professor and ex-BBC Symphony) and a team of young professional string players.  And we have a lot of REALLY good cake….

We have some amazing concerts planned: our May 20th concert involves working with talented young conductors on fabulous repertoire including Tchaikovsky’s Romeo & Juliet and Gershwin’s An American in Paris and next season includes works such as Shostakovitch’s 6th Symphony and Prokofiev Cinderella.

If you are interested in playing in our May concert (see info below) or in joining us more permanently, please get in touch on


ERSO Young Conductors Concert – “Behind the Baton”

Sunday 20 May 2018 – St John’s Waterloo – 6:30pm

Brahms – Variations on a Theme of Haydn

Rachmaninov – The Rock

Tchaikovsky – Romeo & Juliet

Gershwin – An American in Paris


Rehearsals (all Sundays) at Camden Girls School:

22 April               2-5pm

29 April               2-5pm

13 May               10am-1pm and 2-5pm

20 May               2.30–5.30pm

Meet Matthew – our March presenter

MatthewSharpPiedPiperJanusWe’re all very excited at ERSO that Matthew Sharp will be our presenter for our Musical Globetrotters Family Concert.

Matthew and our conductor Tom Hammond will be taking us on a trip round the world – join us!

Want to know more about Matthew?  He’s a multi-talented guy!

‘Virtuoso of the arts’ (The Times), Matthew Sharp, has performed worldwide as solo cellist, baritone, actor and director – solo appearances with the RPO, LPO, RLPO, CBSO; singing principal roles for Opera North and ROH; acting principal roles at the Young Vic and NT Studio. From Glastonbury to Glyndebourne, he has worked with an extraordinary spectrum of leading artists from Sir John Tavener to Marta Eggert to Dave McKean to Caryl Churchill. His own music and theatre works have toured to major festivals globally. He has given over sixty world premieres and recorded for Sony, EMI, Decca, Naxos, Somm, NMC, Avie and Whirlwind.

Callie Brennan- A star for the future!

callie closeupLast night at our Concert of English Music with Peter Stark, ERSO were proud to present the very first winner of our ERSO Soloist of the Year Competetion, Callie Brennan.

Audience and orchestra alike were transfixed by this young musician’s wonderful performance of the fiendishly hard Walton Violin concerto.

Nobody watching the incredibly accomplished and confident performance would believe that this was in fact Callie’s first time playing a concerto with an orchestra.  We are pretty sure that it won’t be the last and we are so glad that we were able to give her this opportunity!flowers

Only 3 days to go…..

callie2…….until we get the chance to play the Walton Violin Concerto with Callie Brennan, our fabulous soloist and winner of ERSO Soloist of the Year 2018.

Callie hails from the sunny state of Maine, and came to the UK for  Postgraduate study in 2016 at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama with the hopes of endless performance opportunities, and lots of tea.

And although you won’t believe it from her amazing performance, this will be the first time Callie has performed a concerto with an orchestra.

We are so glad that our ERSO Talent programme has been able to provide her with this opportunity!


Callie is our ERSO Soloist of the Year!

We had an amazing morning of music at the ERSO Soloist of the Year Final.

Four fabulous performances left us quite literally spoilt for choice – marvellous Mozart, sublime Strauss and Sibelius and wonderful Walton.

We’re delighted to announce that after long deliberation, our winner is Callie Brennan who will be wowing our audience with her performance of Walton’s Violin Concerto at our Concert of English Music with Peter Stark on 11 February.

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