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Australian Chamber Orchestra

About Us


Internationally renowned for inspired programming and the rapturous response of audiences and critics, the Australian Chamber Orchestra is a product of our country’s vibrant, adventurous and enquiring spirit. In performances around Australia, around the world and on many recordings, the ACO moves hearts and stimulates minds with repertoire spanning six centuries and a vitality and virtuosity unmatched by other ensembles. The ACO was founded in 1975. Every year, this ensemble presents performances of the highest standard to audiences around the world, including 10,000 subscribers across Australia. The ACO’s unique artistic style encompasses not only the masterworks of the classical repertoire, but innovative cross-artform projects and a vigorous commissioning program. The outstanding Australian musician Richard Tognetti was appointed as Artistic Director and Lead Violin in 1989. Under his inspiring leadership, the ACO has performed as a flexible and versatile ‘ensemble of soloists’, on modern and period instruments, as a small chamber group, a small symphony orchestra, and as an electro-acoustic collective. In a nod to past traditions, only the cellists are seated – the resulting sense of energy and individuality is one of the most commented-upon elements of an ACO concert experience. Regular international tours to Asia, Europe and the USA have drawn outstanding reviews for the ACO’s performances at many of the world’s prestigious concert halls, including Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, London’s Wigmore Hall, New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, Vienna’s Musikverein, Birmingham’s Symphony Hall and Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center. To see the 259 cities the ACO has performed in on fifty-one international tours, click here. The ACO’s dedication and musicianship has created warm relationships with such celebrated soloists as Emmanuel Pahud, Steven Isserlis, Dawn Upshaw, Imogen Cooper, Christian Lindberg, Joseph Tawadros, Melvyn Tan and Pieter Wispelwey. The ACO is renowned for collaborating with artists from diverse genres, including singers Tim Freedman, Neil Finn, Katie Noonan, Paul Capsis, Danny Spooner and Barry Humphries and visual artists Michael Leunig, Bill Henson, Shaun Tan and Jon Frank. Committed to Australian composition, the ACO has given 1700 performances of over 250 works by 80 Australian composers. Several of the ACO’s musicians perform with spectacularly fine instruments.Tognetti plays a 1743 Guarneri del Gesù violin, on loan from an anonymous Australian benefactor. Principal Cello Timo-Veikko Valve plays a 1729 Giuseppe Guarneri Filius Andreae cello, on loan from Mr Peter Weiss AM. Principal 2nd Violin Helena Rathbone plays a 1759 Guadagnini violin on loan from the Commonwealth Bank Group. Assistant Leader Satu Vänskä plays a 1728/29 Stradivarius violin owned by the ACO Instrument Fund, through which investors participate in the ownership of historic instruments. The ACO has made acclaimed recordings for labels including ABC Classics, Sony, Channel Classics, Hyperion, EMI and Chandos and currently has a recording contract with BIS. Highlights include the three-time ARIA Award-winning Bach recordings and Vivaldi Concertos with Emmanuel Pahud. The ACO appears in the television series Classical Destinations II and the multi-award-winning film Musica Surfica. In 2005, the ACO inaugurated an ambitious national education program, which includes outreach activities and mentoring of outstanding young musicians, including the formation of ACO2, an elite training orchestra which tours regional centres. Book Tickets What's On Education

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Performing Arts
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02 8274 3800

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Website
http://www.aco.com.au (opens in new window)
Address
Opera Quays 2 East Circular Quay
Sydney
New South Wales 2000
Australia
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