Eng. chamber orch. founded by David Atherton and Nicholas Snowman in 1968, with Atherton as first mus. dir. Specializes in 20th‐cent. mus. and has given well over 200 f.ps. and f.ps. in Eng. Elgar Howarth regular cond. from 1973 and Simon Rattle works often with it. Paul Crossley joint art. dir. 1988–94. Markus Stenz prin. cond. 1994–8; Oliver Knussen 1998–2002.