The Dallas Chamber Orchestra was formed in 1977 by violinist Ronald Neal. From the very beginning the DCO was recognized as a remarkably tight-knit ensemble, playing with enormous spirit and projection (Dallas Morning News). The DCO performs in the time-honored tradition for smaller orchestras, without conductor, and is consistently praised for its robust, cohesive performances. Members of the DCO are Internationally recognized musicians, including professors and artists in residence from the Meadows School of the Arts at SMU and the University of North Texas. Instruments used by DCO musicians include some of the greatest stringed instruments ever crafted including works by Stradivari, Amati, Tononi, and Montagnana. As a result the orchestra is consistently praised as an ensemble of notable refinement and artistry(High Fidelity Musical America) and as an orchestra which produces a sound equal in richness and depth to what one expects from a string section of a great orchestra (Ft. Worth Star Telegram).
The ensemble was featured as the resident Chamber Orchestra in the XIX International Festival de Musica de Camara in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Other featured resident ensembles included the Tokyo and Ying String Quartets. The Dallas Chamber Orchestra is frequently heard on National Public Radio Performance Today and has numerous recordings to its credit. The repertoire performed by the DCO encompasses a varied style from the early baroque to music by living composers.
Supporting education the DCO has participated in the past with the Dallas Independent School District Adopt a School Program. Ronald Neal and principal players of the orchestra have acted as mentors for students, giving master classes and coachings to students in the orchestras of Greiner Middle School, G. B. Dealey Montessori, Skyline and Booker T. Washington School of the Performing Arts.
In past years the DCO has benefited from corporate support by numerous companies including JC Penney Life Insurance, Mobil, Exxon, Ebby Halliday, Societe Generale, Austin Industries, the Law firms of Vincent and Elkins, Haynes and Boone, Hughes and Luce, Texas Instruments and the Crow Family Trust. It has received grants from TACA, the 500 Inc., Texas Commission on the Arts, Western State Arts Alliance and the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, as well as support from the University of Texas at Dallas, School of Arts and Humanities.
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