Eclipse Chamber Orchestra, one of the nation's premiere chamber ensembles, has rapidly become well known for its exceptional performances and diverse repertoire. Founded in 1992 by Music Director Sylvia Alimena and 23 of her colleagues from the National Symphony Orchestra and several board members, the membership also represents a convergence of members from Washington's great chamber ensembles, including the American Chamber players, the Capitol Woodwind Quintet, the National Musical Arts Society, and the Chamber Soloists of Washington. Its members have been featured as soloists in all of the finest recital series, including the Corcoran, the Phillips Collection, the Dumbarton Concert Series, the Terrace Theater and the Library of Congress and also as concert soloists with the National Symphony and orchestras throughout the country. Eclipse Chamber Orchestra takes great pride in featuring at least one of its members as a soloist for each concert series.
The orchestra has been highly acclaimed by the Washington Post as "outright extraordinary...this small but excellent orchestra...communicated strongly and directly with everyone in the auditorium...with great subtlety and vitality...ravishing... dazzling..." In 1995, Eclipse was presented by the John F. Kennedy Center in a Terrace Theater debut and was the first chamber orchestra ever to be presented by the prestigious Dumbarton Concert Series. In February of 1997, Eclipse had the honor of representing the National Symphony Orchestra in a series of "In Your Neighborhood" concerts presented in Virginia and the District of Columbia.
With membership comprised of National Symphony Orchestra members, Eclipse was founded primarily to enhance the visibility of National Symphony Orchestra members in the community and to make accessible the highest quality of concert performance to listeners of every economic level. With very low ticket prices, free parking, an open dialogue between the orchestra and the audience, and critically acclaimed concerts, we hope that people of all economic means will be enticed into experiencing the joy of a live concert performance.