The Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra (= LCO) was formed by Saulius Sondeckis in 1960. The first rehearsal took place on April 23, and on April 30 they gave their first concert. The LCO has toured almost all the European countries, the USA, Japan, Argentina, Cuba, Canada, Egypt, and the Republic of South Africa. Audiences at the Berlin Philharmonic, Musikverein in Vienna, Royal Festival in London, Santa Cecilia in Rome, Auditorium di Giuseppe Verdi in Milan, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and at many other famous concert halls in Europe have applauded the orchestra. It has performed at many famous European festivals. In the cities of Germany there were held unique concerts of the LCO and the legendary reciter Peter Ustinov.
A great number of celebrated soloists have performed together with the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra. It has formed close creative links with pianists Justus Frantz, Evgeny Kissin, and Vladimir Krainev; violinists Tatjana Grindenko, Oleg Kagan, Gidon Kremer, Igor Oistrakh, Gil Shaham, and Vladimir Spivakov; cellists David Garingas, Natalia Gutman, Mstislav Rostropovich; viola player Jurij Bashmet, organist Jean Guillou, trumpeters Timofej Dokshitser and Guy Touvron, flautist Aurèle Nicolet, and singer José Van Dam. The famous choirs, including the Latvian Chamber Choir Ave Sol (leader Imants Kokars), the Moscow Chamber Choir (leader Vladimir Minin), and the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir (leader Tonu Kaljuste), have performed with the LCO in many countries. In 1992, Lord Yehudi Menuhin had his first rehearsal with the LCO in Caceres (Spain). Since then, the LCO had appeared in more than 60 concerts together with the great musician and humanist.
The Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra often plays new compositions by Lithuanian composers. It has also given a number of world premieres of works by many celebrated authors, including Alfred Schnittke, Arvo Pärt and Peters Vasks. Moreover, grateful authors have often dedicated their compositions to Saulius Sondeckis and his orchestra. A. Schnittke dedicated his Concerto Grosso No.1 to Gidon Kremer, Tatjana Grindenko and Saulius Sondeckis and his Concerto Grosso No. 2 was dedicated to Saulius Sondeckis and LCO. During the tragic events of January 1991, Schnittke composed Sutartines, a piece for chamber orchestra, and dedicated it to the people of Lithuania. Arvo Pärt has also dedicated several of his works to the LCO and its leader.