ESO is an ambitious non-professional orchestra bringing quality concerts to the heart of Chelmsford, and it is my great pleasure to be their Music Director. Together we aim to deliver top-class performances of full-scale symphonic repertoire ranging from established classics to lesser-known pieces that deserve more exposure. Players in the orchestra are hugely committed and I’m constantly amazed by their passion and precision. ESO regularly works with top soloists and local professional musicians whose performances are exhilarating and inspirational. Each year the orchestra engages with local young people through a series of events and workshops aimed at encouraging the next generation of musicians and music lovers. Essex has a rich cultural past and, with the help of ESO and you as our audience, we hope to ensure that the future is just as bright. 

Robert Hodge, Music Director, ESO


It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to our line up of concerts for this season. Across the four (yes…four!) concerts I hope that you will find some of your favourites, with dramatic symphonies by Tchaikovsky, Sibelius and Dvorák, alongside new pieces to discover by three wonderful female composers. I’m particularly excited to be working with our soloists – Olly, Alexandra, and Dan – on concertos that will showcase their skills and push their virtuosity to the limit! It’s aways such a pleasure to collaborate with wonderful musicians; I can guarantee that you are in for a real treat. I’m delighted that, in a new venture for ESO, we are adding a special event for families in which Roald Dahl’s text is brought alive with music and narration in a concert perfect for young, and not so young, ears alike!

Finally, we are delighted to be offering FREE pre-concert talks for each of our regular concerts, where our soloists will tell us a little about themselves and share their musical inspirations.

Visit ‘What’s On’ for full concert information and for details of our special offer Season Ticket.   We very much look forward to seeing you!!

Free Young People’s Orchestral Workshop

Sunday 5th May 2024 at St John Payne School, Chelmsford

Essex Symphony Orchestra is delighted, once again, to invite young musicians to join them for a morning to enjoy orchestral playing alongside experienced players and under the guidance of our professional conductor, Mr Robert Hodge (

The workshop is for pupils who learn an orchestral instrument in or out of school and who have passed Grade 1to Grade 5. This year there will be just one session for everyone so that all players can enjoy the full orchestral sound created by the mix of beginner, intermediate and Grade 4/5 parts

For more details and how to apply please click on the ‘Outreach’ tab above.



ESO is grateful to the Essex Community Fund for support of our Family Concert and Young Person’s Orchestral Workshop.

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