The Cascais & Oeiras Chamber Orchestra is an ensemble funded by the Cascais and Oeiras Council Chambers and by the Portuguese Ministry of Culture through Direção Geral das Artes, a governmental entity for the management and promotion of Culture and Art.
OCCO is considered today as one of best ensembles of its kind in Portugal, and quickly assumed an essential cultural role in the boroughs of Oeiras and Cascais. The orchestra has a season of more than 60 concerts per year, also performing at many venues throughout Portugal and presenting various concerts abroad.
OCCO has a core of 20 strings and a fixed group of wind musicians, which grants OCCO to form a full orchestra whenever required.
Within its extensive and comprehensive repertoire, OCCO includes works of composers from various eras and styles, always promoting Portuguese composers. But it is also part of OCCO's agenda to promote young composers, frequently performing pieces less known to the audience, some of which are premiered in Portugal.
OCCO has performed in national music festivals such as in Estoril, Coimbra, Guimarães, Mafra and Leiria. It also represented Portuguese music in the General Assembly of European Festivals in Estoril, September 1998, in Brussels, 2002, and in Valência, 2006. OCCO received soloists such as Paul Badura-Skoda, Lidia Mordkovitch, Alberto Lysy, Márcio Carneiro, Ana Bela Chaves, Darco Brlek, Boyan Vodenicharov and Maria Luísa Cortada, among others.
OCCO has also been directed by distinguished conductors such as Manuel Ivo Cruz (Portugal), Jorge Gomez Perez (USA), Bernardo Adam Ferrero (Spain), Elias Voudouris (Greece) and Giuseppe Lanzetta (Italy), among others.
OCCO was founded by Maestro Nikolay Lalov, who is its current Conductor and Artistic Director.