Latest news

Go, go, go, Joe!

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Joe rehearsing with ERSO in the 2019 final of our ERSO Soloist of the Year competition

At ERSO we are SO excited to be working with hugely talented young soloist Joe (Chu Yu) Yang in our Brahms and Debussy concert in Feb 2020.  He’ll be delighting our audience with The Lark Ascending by Vaughan-Williams.


We met Joe when he applied for the 2019 ERSO Soloist of the Year competition and were hugely impressed by his performance in the final.

If you are an ambitious soloist and feeling envious of Joe, then check out our ERSO Soloist of the Year 2020 comoetition – the winner will be our June soloist AND have a solo piece commissioned for them by the winner of our composers’ competition.  And Joe’ss story proves, the finalists have a very good chance of being engaged as soloists in other concerts too.ERSO Soloist of the Year 2020-page-001 (3)

It’s time for Tom!

At ERSO we are so pleased to welcome our great friend Tom Hammond back as our guest conductor for our November “Firebird” choral concert.

It is always such a pleasure to work with Tom and we know that we’ll create a really special concert together with the talented young musicians at the Camden School for Girls.

ERSO and Tom in our May 2019 Nordic concert
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Tom and ERSO working with children from the Camden Sinfonia in March 2018


Bella performing with ERSO

That’s certainly what our appreciative audience thought at last night’s Mozart and Mendelssohn concert!

They clearly loved soloist Isabella Fleming’s beautifully sensitive and accomplished performance of Mozart’s 2nd Violin concerto.  Bella was a Finalist in the 2019 ERSO Soloist of the Year competition and we were so impressed by her performance in the Final that we just had to ask her to be our soloist.

A well deserved hug from leader John Crawford

The evening commenced with the striking Chavez arrangement of Buxtehude’s Chaconne and concluded with a stirring performance of Mendelssohn’s Reformation Symphony.

We can’t wait to get started on rehearsals for the next concert which includes Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite.

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What a prize!

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Last year’s winner Henry Hargreaves with ERSO

Did you know that the winner of ERSO’s 2020 Soloist of the Year competition will have twice the prize this year?


They’ll have the chance to perform the concerto of their choice as our soloist in the June Waterloo Festival Concert

AND they will also be our soloist in ERSO’s big 90th Birthday concert in spring 2021, playing a new piece that will be commissioned for them by the winner of the ERSO emerging composers’ competition: “A Fanfare for Ernest Read”

Interested?  To be eligible players need to take part in one ERSO concert (including rehearsals).  We are looking for for a few more experienced string players for our November 24th concert which has a great programme incuding Stravinsky’s Firebird.

Check out the November rehearsal dates on the Rehearsal schedule and the details about the 2020 ERSO soloist competition.   Get in touch on


Fancy a treat??

ERSO’s Mozart & Mendelssohn concert this coming Sunday (27th October) has amazing music, a fabulously talented soloist Bella Fleming PLUS the chance to win over £400 of luxury chocolate from ethical producer MIA.

And tickets are a hugely reasonable £10 in advance from We Got Tickets. And only £5 for children and students!  What are you waiting for??


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ERSO + CGS = a great evening of music!

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Ernest Read with pupils at Queenswood School

Ernest Read was passionate about spreading music as widely as possible to children and young people and put on his first concert for schools in 1929.   He developed an innovative format that many professional symphony orchestras still follow today, with short programmes, accessible introductions to the repertoire and audience participation.   The renowned Ernest Read Concerts for Children began in 1945 and sold out for over 50 years.

Today, we devote at least two concerts a year to working with Camden children.

We’re so excited to work with the talented young singers and players from Camden School for Girls in the November 24th “Firebird” Choral Concert at the beautiful church of St Martins at Gospel Oak.

ERSO and CGS November concert flyerThe concert will be a real treat and will include Stravinsky’s haunting Firebird Suite and Mussorgsky’s dramatic Night on a Bare Mountain, in which ERSO will be joined by the talented young orchesral musicians from the school.  The school’s fabuous chamber choir will perform Charpentier’s Messe de Minuit accompanied by ERSO and we’ll also be presenting some wonderful solo singers.

Entry to the concert is free with a retiring collection

Take our personailty test!

  1. You love classical music
  2. You enjoy a sweet treat
  3. You like to contribute to worthy causes
  4. You live in or near London

Then ERSO  have the perfect evening for you in our Mozart & Mendelssohn concert which includes a beautiful performance of Mozart’s 2nd Violin Concerto by one of the finalists from our 2019 ERSO Soloist of the Year competition, Bella Fleming.

We will also be raffling over £400 of delicious premium chocolate made by ethical producer MIA (Made in Africa) who provide opportunities and benefits to the communities who grow the cocoa and make the chocolate.  The first prize is 60 bars of delicious goodness – and tickets are only £1!

All proceeds will go towards our charitable work with children and emerging professional musicians during our big 90th birthday season.