The Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO) always provides a unique experience for its subscribers and admirers and the 2013 season will be no exception. Based on the projected program attendees can expect a whole range of new and exciting experiences. The ACO is all about musical diversity in action. Each concert performance is themed and cleverly crafted to help expand its follower’s experience of notable repertoire from the past and present.
Guest artists are always surprising, especially where it’s award winning Artistic Director Australian violinist, conductor and composer Richard Tognetti AO is concerned. He has a reputation for presenting the eccentric and unusual, alongside the classical and contemporary in his choice of both guests and repertoire. His style is to always challenge both the audience and his players at all times, providing presentations that are always stimulating, forever inspiring and completely unforgettable.
Some of the highlights of my life have been the marvellous moments spent in the company of this exquisite orchestra, which has earned its fine reputation as the greatest small orchestra in the world. Rapturous and enriching are some of the words that spring to mind when reviewing their concerts and, as their 2013 brochure claims, they have ‘a vitality and virtuosity unmatched by other ensembles’ really anywhere else in the world. And they have the review evidence to back up that statement.
It was at the end of the excessive 80’s that Richard Tognetti (1989) came along to guide the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s spellbinding journey until the present day. Over that period he has been involved in many landmark performances, the majority of which have lingered long in both the imagination and the memory.
The ACO’s international tours are always played to appreciative audiences in prestigious musical venues, where renowned excellence is the guiding standard. From New York’s Carnegie Hall to London’s Wigmore Hall and Vienna’s Musikverein to the Sydney Opera House or Melbourne’s Arts Centre, they have earned the fine reputation they now enjoy. It would not be like Tognetti however to rest on his laurels, because he is a man that always accepts and sets new challenges for himself and his team of players, so that the musical experience for its followers will forever remain young, spirited and alive.
‘On the eighth day God created the ACO and appointed a leader – Richard Tognetti – who was nothing less than visionary’**
Richard Tognetti will kick start the year’s program in February playing Mozart on the 1743 Guarneri del Gesù violin, which has been lent to him by an anonymous Australian private benefactor. The skill and intimacy of his playing is always seductive, especially when he is presenting works by Wolfgang ‘Amadeus’ Mozart.
His interpretation of the Austrian genius’s music is always better than anyone could possibly hope for, or expect and he frequently passes a point beyond a mere mortal’s understanding.
There are no words to express how mesmerizing it is to enjoy one of his concerts live.
In 2013 a work entitled ‘The Reef’ will be viewed as an extension of the ACO’s classical repertoire, with works by Rachmaninov and Rameau, Shostakovich and Bach and Beethoven in symphony with works by Dean, Alice in Chains, Pigram, Ligeti, Kilar and Tognetti himself, making a myriad of musical sounds and images of the ocean crashing over surfers and board riders.
Having now retired Australia’s favourite Dame, music lover and one of Australia’s greatest performers Barry Humphries’ will be appearing as himself in the role of ‘Conférencier’, presenting music from the Weimar Republic as it evolved from the highpoint of romanticism prior to World War I where it was played on the gilded stage to the 20’s and 30’s and the low life of the German cabaret scene where a gilded cage, shock value, strippers and sex were all co-travellers.
For five years now ACO2, the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s precocious child, has offered a diverse range of experiences for its talented young emerging artists.
They gain a valuable insight into life in the world of music by spending time on the regional touring and education program conducted by the ACO, which is all about connecting the city and country and identifying and connecting mentors to string players seeking a future in the industry.
This year Tognetti will team up with a guest player for this group a young German ‘rock star’ cellist Daniel Müller-Schott, who will ‘spar’ with ACO cellist Timo-Veikko Valve in Vivaldi’s Concerta for two cellos.
Pianist Jeremy Denk has a calling card, Charles Ives’s Concord Sonata. Denk’s personal quest to see Ives work recorded and performed has led to a recording of an orchestration by American composer Henry Brant (1913-2008), who spent from 1958 – 1994 transcribing it.
It’s a series of musical portraits, which includes a slow movement honouring the Alcott family, that includes author Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women – a study of domestic tranquility.
He will join Tognetti and a group of players from the ACO to present Brahms Piano Quintet, a masterwork from the 19th century chamber repertoire. They will also explore Bach’s Canons on a Goldberg Ground BWV1087 and Nancarrow’s Two Canons for Ursula.
In a concert with the ACO he will break new ground from the classical past to the contemporary age, presenting Vivaldi alongside works by Arvo Pärt and Phillip Glass, a challenging new experience for him and for the audience.
Joining ‘The Crowd’ as seen through the music of Chopin, Crumb, Dean, Debussy, Feldman, Leifs, Schubert, Shostakovich, Sibelius and Tognetti, will be a unique experience for all.
Tognetti likes to explore new concepts of cultural development. In this concert he will take on the public’s experiences of being part of a crowd, whether we are out on the street, on the hill at the cricket, at a concert in a hall or park, worshiping in church or at a feast in the great outdoors. There will be more than a hundred people on stage, two thousand in the audience and thousands of people projected onto a big screen, inviting you to join in.
We will definitely arrive in classical ‘cello’ heaven when we encounter world famous cellist Steven Isserlis in the spring of 2013.
He joins with Richard Tognetti and the ACO to present the Dvorak Cello Concerto and Brahms Symphony No 4. The inspiring intensity of his playing has no parallels. Isserlis belongs in a musical class of his own making, one that soars to the heights and plunges the very depths of our hearts and soul.
Usually there isn’t any Fröst in November in Australia. However there will be an exception in 2013 when the man billed as the master of the clarinet ‘Martin Fröst’ takes to the stage to melt all our hearts.
His recording of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto has recently been dubbed ‘the best in the world’.
His performances have been watched over a million times on You Tube – meaning recognition at a level of popularity not usually given to a musician playing on a classical instrument.
With its haunting sounds, this promises to be a very special event.
‘Richard Tognetti and his badass classical band, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, don’t play New York nearly often enough. But, on the rare occasion that they do come in from Down Under, they leave an indelible mark on the city’s music scene.’***
To kick off the Festive Season Celebrations in 2913 the ACO, led by Richard Tognetti, will present Bach Brandenburg Concertos 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6, an event not to be missed.
For Christmas Conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir will join the ACO to tell the Christmas Story anew.
The Monteverdi Choir received the gong as the best in the world by Gramophone magazine last year, and in a first they will all be collaborating to present Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, another landmark ACO event for Australia.
The oratorio emerged in Italy during the seventeenth century and as composed by Bach, represents neither the beginning or the end of musical history, but is at its highest and most terminal point.
This is where it becomes the sophisticated crowning glory of an epoch of music known for its great eloquence. It demands virtuoso playing and as the ACO is clearly up to the task, this should prove a splendid way for it to end its 2013 season.
I can hear everyone screaming out Bravo ! now.
Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept 2012
Australian Chamber Orchestra
This year’s season is our biggest ever, including 13 programs stretching from classical favourites Brahms 4 & Steven Isserlis, Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto with Martin Fröst, Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Tognetti’s Mozart and Andreas Scholl’s Vivaldi; to Richard’s adventurous cross-artform collaborations The Reef, The Crowd, Project Rameau and Barry Humphries; and exciting guests cellist Daniel Müller-Schott, pianist Jeremy Denk and violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja.
Buy Tickets to all Upcoming Events
including end of 2012 Season and the ACO2 Tasmanian Tour 10 – 19 OCTOBER 2012
Richard Tognetti AO, Artistic Director & Lead Violin
- RICHARD TOGNETTI
- HELENA RATHBONE
- SATU VÄNSKÄ
- MADELEINE BOUD
- REBECCA CHAN
- ALICE EVANS
- AIKO GOTO
- MARK INGWERSEN
- ILYA ISAKOVICH
- CHRISTOPHER MOORE
- NICOLE DIVALL
- TIMO-VEIKKO VALVE
- MELISSA BARNARD
- JULIAN THOMPSON
- MAXIME BIBEAU
- VERONIQUE SERRET
- CAROLINE HENBEST
- DANIEL YEADON
*Washington Post, 2009
**Herald Sun, 2005
***Time Out New York, 2010