Anchored in the results of the concert production work of the Orchestra of the Professional School of Music of Espinho -a formation that, since 1989, the date of the foundation of the school, has produced the direct and visible result of an innovative educational project, having seen, since then, one hundred concerts all over the country and also abroad (Scotland, Germany, Spain, Brazil) - the Professional School of Music of Espinho (EPME), with the support of the Municipality of Espinho, decided to move towards, in July 2005, the creation of the Classical Orchestra of Espinho, thus moving towards a broader orchestral training model and with a deeper and more ambitious artistic project, which, while maintaining a strong connection to the academic genesis of the orchestra, has progressed towards its consolidation as a professional orchestral structure.
The OCE was thus established as an orchestra that integrates, in a balanced and artistically structured way, young musicians at the beginning of their professional careers and EPME students - without excluding the collaboration of musicians with great professional experience in an innovative working model in that, together with the possibility given to young instrumentalists to access regular practice as orchestral musicians in conditions of strictly professional practice, thus stimulating their activity and musical experience in transition to their inclusion in the labour market. This possibility coexists with providing young EPME students with access to a higher level of orchestral practice, in a regime of very close artistic and tutorial accompaniment, allowing them to perform repertoires of technical-artistic requirements which is fundamental to the preparation of their future academic and professional paths.
The OCE performs regularly, generally implementing between six to eight symphonic programmes per season, fundamentally covering the reference orchestral repertoire since the end of the century. XVIII until roughly the first half of the century. XX., Without excluding, obviously, the interpretation of more recent works according to the contexts of each creation. Occasionally, the OCE presents artistic projects spanning other musical genres, such as jazz, fado, flamenco and others.
Since 2006, OCE presentations at the Coliseu do Porto (Promenade Concerts and Mozart Festival), at the Teatro Helena Sá e Costa, at the Aveiro and Estarreja Cineteatros, at the Centro Cultural Vila Flor in Guimarães, at the Arts Center of Figueira da Foz, at the Cine-Teatro Paraíso in Tomar, at Casa da Música, at the Teatro de Vila Real, among others, and at the Festival dos Oceanos, Lisbon, in 2009. In recent years, he has performed with renowned soloists such as Alexis Cardenas, Mário Laginha, Elisabete Matos, Romain Garioud, Elisso Virsaladze, Ilya Gringolts, Alina Pogostkina, Miklós Perényi, Yamandu Costa, Gilles Apap, Manuela Azevedo (Clan), David Grimal, Richard Galliano, Edmar Castañeda, Cristina Branco, Leia Zhu, Voices of the Radio, the Septet Juan Carmona, among others.
OCE's Artistic Director and Principal Conductor is Maestro Pedro Neves, in conjunction each season with guest conductors, including Cesário Costa, Jean Marc Burfin, Jan Wierzba, Nuno Coelho, among others.