These are soloists, chamber musicians and principal players from major orchestras all over the country. A few times a year, they all take their vacations and get together to rehearse and go on tour.
They're called the East Coast Chamber Orchestra or ECCO and they formed in 2001 when they were all fresh out of conservatory, for the sheer love of playing.
Miles Cohen of the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society said, "When you think of chamber music, you think of groups that are 6 musicians or less. But in this case, there's 18. So it's a much larger ensemble and of course that changes the sound landscape completely from what our audience is used to."
They are a self-conducted ensemble?no maestro to follow and they operate under a purely democratic form of leadership.
"You will see the musicians rotate throughout the concert. You won't see any violins play cello but if a certain person is leading the ensemble on one piece, he or she is sitting or standing in the back as it is, in another piece. So it changes the dynamic," said Cohen.
The group also pushes the boundaries of the standard repertoire?and they put on an interactive show, explaining to the audience the program, why they've chosen those particular pieces and answering any questions.
Cohen added, "Always when they come and play for us, the immediate comments that we hear afterwards are you know what I loved about Ecco? I loved the fact that you could tell they love being on the stage. They love performing for us."
The concert is Sunday, February 10th at 3pm in the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theatre.
It's presented by The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. For tickets, go to Philadelphia Chamber Music Society.