American Chamber Orchestra

ACO copy

About the Orchestra

The American Chamber Orchestra is a 65-member ensemble based in Fairfield County, Connecticut. We perform high baroque, classical, and early romantic repertory, and selected modern works, regularly including young professional musicians in our programs as featured soloists.


Founded in 2003 by Music Director Christopher James Hisey and a group of dedicated amateur musicians, we have presented more than 45 very successful concerts in Fairfield, Norwalk, and Bridgeport.


Among the highlights in our brief history:


June 12, 2004, the orchestra performed the world premiere of ‘Symphony – Wind River’ by Rex Cadwallader, an Emmy award-winning American composer.


February 11, 2006, we premiered Ed Thompson's orchestral suite 'Five in Fairfield,' depicting five places in Fairfield County.


In February 2011, the premiere of Concerto for Marimba and Orchestra, a commissioned work by Dr. Rex Cadwallader, was presented and performed by Brett Altman.


In July 2005, the orchestra traveled to Vienna, Salzburg, and Prague, presenting four concerts during the tour.  In July 2007, 83 members, family and friends traveled through Northern Italy, visiting Parma, Padua, Cremona, Lucca, Florence, Ravenna, Venice and Milan and performed four concerts with well-attended audiences.  In July 2009, the group traveled the Scottish Highlands giving three wonderful performances including one in a real castle!   The group traveled to Spain in July 2012 included sightseeing in Madrid, Toledo, Segovia, Zaragossa and Barcelona including three performances - the last of which was in a 12th century convent!  


Members of the American Chamber Orchestra, family and friends traveled to Southern England and Ireland in July 2015, performing at the Frome Festival and at the chapel at Dublin Castle.  Visited Stonehenge, Salisbury Cathedral and viewed one of the four remaining copies of the Magna Carta which celebrated its 800th Anniversary during 2015; visited the Roman Baths and took a ferry ride to Dublin where we visited the Old Jameson Distillery and Temple Bar along with Trinity College where we saw the Book of Kells.   It was difficult to come back to the states!


A group of 24 musicians, family and friends traveled to Iceland July 2018 for 2 performances and lots of sightseeing.  Went on a whale watch, performed at Harpa Hall and the Lava Museum with volcanoes "erupting" as we played.  Quite exciting!


The American Chamber Orchestra chooses the finest in orchestral literature to share with our audiences.  Artists who have appeared with the orchestra include Jenny Lind Award-winning soprano Stephanie Gregory, trumpeter Zebediah Upton, violinists Edita Orlinyte, Olivier Fluchaire, Gary Cappoziello and Jinyeong Jessica Lee, violists Fiona Winnig and Yaroslav Kargin, cellists Rebecca Patterson and Kangho Lee, pianist Assaff Weisman, and organist Ed Thompson.