The Australian Chamber Orchestra celebrates 30 years with Richard Tognetti as Artistic Director

Richard Tognetti, Artistic Director Australian Chamber Orchestra, 2018. Photograph: Jason Capobianco. Courtesy the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Sydney

The Australian Chamber Orchestra founded in 1975 by cellist John Painter is today recognised as one of the world’s leading orchestral ensembles who under the 30-year artistic direction of world-renowned violinist and composer Richard Tognetti, have performed in the world’s greatest concert halls and earned multiple accolades including the ARIA, Grammy and Helpmann Awards, and collaborated with numerous artists including The Presets, Bill Henson and Barry Humphries, to name a few.

This year, as well as navigating the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic and the cancellation of The Four Seasons & Beyond national tour, the Orchestra which is made up of 17 core musicians is celebrating three decades of inspiring leadership by Tognetti who has been at the helm of the Australian Chamber Orchestra since 1990 experimenting with and creating moving orchestral experiences for audiences in Australia and on the international stage. The announcement of the new celebratory Digital Season ensures the musical journey will continue.

“Over the past few months, the Australian Chamber Orchestra has been committed to providing engaging musical experiences to our national and international audiences at home during lockdown. Our first digital season, the ACO HomeCasts series has reached over 1.5m people, tuning into over 20 performances. Whilst we wait to tread the boards of our beloved concert halls once again, I am thrilled to celebrate my 30 years as Artistic Director with the Orchestra with this special anniversary program culminating in the online premiere of one of our most celebrated performances, the epic cinematic documentary Mountain,” says Tognetti.

Mountain, 2017. Photograph: Maria Boyadgis. Courtesy the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Sydney

The 30-year milestone celebrations will hit the rostrum on Monday June 15 with a week-long digital program of delectable performances streamed across the ACO’s website and social media platforms, free to the public.

The online showcase includes premiere performances, re-broadcasts of the Orchestra’s best concerts, new music, guest artists and interviews, as well as excerpts from two of Tognetti’s films Musica Surfica and The Reef, which both explore the Director’s passion for surfing, and we also have the opportunity to see some of Tognetti’s work with talented young musicians as part of the ACOs Learning & Engagement program. And in partnership with ABC Classic a line-up of live performances, artists in conversation, archival footage and curated playlists will sound out over the ABC’s airwaves, online and on the ABC’s social pages.

Monday 15 June
A brand new ACO HomeCast presents Richard Tognetti performing music for solo violin by JS Bach.

Tuesday June 16
Tognetti premieres a new original song The Other Way, with a performance by Satu Vänskä on vocals, Richard Tognetti on electric violin alongside Slava Grigoryan and Midnight Oil’s Jim Moginie on guitar.

Thursday June 18
Tognetti performs a never before released arrangement of Szymanowski’s String Quartet No.2 from the ACO’s acclaimed and hugely popular 2019 Indies & Idols tour.

Thursday 18 June at 1pm
Richard Tognetti and the Orchestra will perform Brahms’s String Sextet No.2 in G major, live in the ABC Classic studio alongside the beautiful Cavatina from Beethoven’s String Quartet in B flat major, Op.130, both arranged for strings.

Saturday June 20
Audiences are invited to tune in to a re-broadcast of Tognetti’s performance of Beethoven’s majestic Violin Concerto, filmed at Sydney Opera House in 2018.

Sunday June 21 – World Music Day
The festival comes to a spectacular close with a performance of the breathtaking cinematic Mountain collaboration between BAFTA-nominated Sherpa Director Jennifer Peedom and Tognetti’s Orchestra, which was filmed live at Sydney opera House in 2017. With music by Arvo Pärt, Vivaldi, Beethoven and Richard Tognetti, this event will take audiences on a thrilling adventure over the highest mountains of 15 countries around the world honing in on the sublime experiences of those who dare to venture to the extremes. Available for 24 hours only!

Together with his orchestra Tognetti’s musical constellations bring past and present together in beautiful new musical imaginations that whisk you away to another place.

Click here to find out more about the 30th anniversary program and Meet the Orchestra and to explore past ACO HomeCasts on demand click here, new performances are added every Monday.