Australian Chamber Orchestra

Last updated

The Australian Chamber Orchestra was founded by cellist John Painter in 1975. [1] Richard Tognetti was appointed Lead Violin in 1989 and subsequently appointed Artistic Director. [1]

Cello musical instrument

The cello ( CHEL-oh; plural cellos or celli) or violoncello ( VY-ə-lən-CHEL-oh; Italian pronunciation: [vjolonˈtʃɛllo]) is a string instrument. It is played by bowing or plucking its four strings, which are usually tuned in perfect fifths an octave lower than the viola: from low to high, C2, G2, D3 and A3. It is the bass member of the violin family, which also includes the violin, viola and the double bass, which doubles the bass line an octave lower than the cello in much of the orchestral repertoire. After the double bass, it is the second-largest and second lowest (in pitch) bowed string instrument in the modern symphony orchestra. The cello is used as a solo instrument, as well as in chamber music ensembles (e.g., string quartet), string orchestras, as a member of the string section of symphony orchestras, most modern Chinese orchestras, and some types of rock bands.

John Galloway Painter AM is an Australian classical cellist. He founded the Australian Chamber Orchestra in 1975, and was Director of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music from 1982 to 1985.

Richard Leo Tognetti, AO is an Australian violinist, composer and conductor. He is currently artistic director and leader of the Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO) and artistic director of the Maribor Festival in Maribor, Slovenia.

As well as frequent Australian tours, the Australian Chamber Orchestra often tours Asia, Europe and the USA, including regular performances at London's Wigmore Hall, New York's Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, Vienna's Musikverein and Washington's Kennedy Center. [2]

Wigmore Hall recital venue in London

The Wigmore Hall is a concert hall located at 36 Wigmore Street, London. Originally called Bechstein Hall, it specialises in performances of chamber music and song. With near-perfect acoustics, the hall quickly became celebrated across Europe and featured many of the great artistes of the 20th century. Today, the hall promotes 400 concerts a year and broadcasts a weekly concert on BBC Radio 3. The hall also promotes an extensive education programme throughout London and beyond.

Carnegie Hall concert hall in New York City

Carnegie Hall is a concert venue in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, United States, located at 881 Seventh Avenue, occupying the east side of Seventh Avenue between West 56th Street and West 57th Street, two blocks south of Central Park.

Musikverein concert hall in Vienna, Austria

The Wiener Musikverein, commonly shortened to Musikverein, is a concert hall in the Innere Stadt borough of Vienna, Austria. It is the home of the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra.

Recordings by Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra of J.S. Bach won three consecutive ARIA Awards. [3] In 2014 an album of the orchestra, featuring the American soprano Dawn Upshaw as soloist, won three Grammy Awards. [4] The orchestra appears in the films Musical Renegades [5] and Musica Surfica [6] and the television series Classical Destinations series two. [7]

Dawn Upshaw is an American soprano. The recipient of several Grammy Awards and Edison Prize-winning discs, she performs both opera and art song, and in repertoire from Baroque to contemporary. Many composers, including Henri Dutilleux, Osvaldo Golijov, John Harbison, Esa-Pekka Salonen, John Adams, and Kaija Saariaho, have written for her. In 2007, she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship.

In 2005, ACO2, a second ensemble combining emerging artists and Australian Chamber Orchestra musicians was formed as a training and regional touring orchestra. [8]

Richard Tognetti performs on a 1743 Guarneri del Gesù violin, [9] on loan from an anonymous benefactor. Principal Cello Timo-Veikko Valve performs on a 1729 Giuseppe Guarneri Filius Andreae cello, [10] on loan from Peter Weiss. [11] Principal Second Violin Helena Rathbone plays a 1759 J.B. Guadagnini violin on loan from the Commonwealth Bank Group. [12] Assistant Leader Satu Vänskä plays a 1728 Stradivarius violin, owned by the Australian Chamber Orchestra Instrument Fund. [11]

The Guarneri is the family name of a group of distinguished luthiers from Cremona in Italy in the 17th and 18th centuries, whose standing is considered comparable to those of the Amati and Stradivari families. Some of the world's most famous violinists, such as Niccolò Paganini, Jascha Heifetz, Yehudi Menuhin have preferred Guarneris to Stradivaris. The average Stradivari is stronger in the 200 Hz and 250 Hz bands and above 1.6 kHz. Guarneri violins are also known by the extension of Giuseppe Guarneri's name, Del Gesù. Del Gesùs are on average stronger from 315 Hz up to 1.25 kHz. These differences are perceived as a more brilliant sound and stronger fundamentals of the lowest notes of the Stradivari, versus a darker sound in the del Gesùs.

Satu Vänskä Finnish musician

Satu Vänskä is a Finnish Australian violinist.

Stradivarius string instrument

A Stradivarius is one of the violins, violas, cellos and other string instruments built by members of the Italian family Stradivari, particularly Antonio Stradivari, during the 17th and 18th centuries. According to their reputation, the quality of their sound has defied attempts to explain or equal it, though this belief is disputed. The fame of Stradivarius instruments is widespread, appearing in numerous works of fiction.

Related Research Articles

Isaac Stern American musician

Isaac Stern was an American violinist.

Vladimir Ashkenazy Icelandic pianist and conductor from Russia

Vladimir Davidovich Ashkenazy is an internationally recognized solo pianist, chamber music performer, and conductor. He is originally from Russia and has held Icelandic citizenship since 1972. He has lived in Switzerland since 1978. Ashkenazy has collaborated with well-known orchestras and soloists. In addition, he has recorded a large storehouse of classical and romantic works. His recordings have earned him five Grammy awards plus Iceland's Order of the Falcon.

Pieter Wispelwey Dutch cellist

Pieter Wispelwey is a Dutch cellist. In 1992, he was the first cellist to receive the Netherlands Music Prize, a government-awarded prize given to the most promising young musician in the Netherlands. He has come to be regarded as one of the world's leading performers and interpreters of both baroque and modern cello works.

James Zuill Bailey, better known as Zuill Bailey is a Grammy Award-winning American cellist, chamber musician, and artistic director. A graduate of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University and the Juilliard School, he has appeared with major orchestras internationally. He is a professor of cello at the University of Texas at El Paso. Bailey has an exclusive international recording contract with the Telarc label.

Sara Macliver is an Australian soprano singer, born and raised in Perth, Western Australia. Macliver is one of Australia’s most popular and versatile artists, appearing in operas, concert and recital performances and on numerous recordings. She is regarded as one of the leading exponents of Baroque repertoire in Australia, and lectures in Voice at the UWA Conservatorium of Music.

Joseph Tawadros Australian musician

Joseph Tawadros is a Coptic Australian oud virtuoso. At the ARIA Music Awards of 2012 he won Best World Music Album for Concerto of the Greater Sea, he won the same category in 2013 for Chameleons of the White Shadow and in 2014 for Permission to Evaporate.

Teddy Tahu Rhodes New Zealand baritone opera singer

Teddy Tahu Rhodes is a New Zealand operatic baritone.

Neal Peres Da Costa is an Australian harpsichordist, fortepianist and organist. He specialises in performance on historical keyboard instruments of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, for which he has gained international renown. He is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Early Music Unit at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music at the University of Sydney.

Quartet San Francisco is a non-traditional and eclectic string quartet led by violinist Jeremy Cohen. The group played their first concert in 2001 and has recorded five albums. Playing a wide range of music genres including jazz, blues, tango, swing, funk, and pop, the group challenges the traditional classical music foundation of the string quartet.

The Limelight Awards were an annual celebration of the performances, recordings and music personalities in Australian classical music. Sponsored by the monthly classical arts magazine Limelight, they were the only publicly voted awards of their kind in Australia. In 2012 the awards attracted more than 4,500 votes.

Classical music in Australia

The earliest western musical influences in Australia can be traced to two distinct sources: in the first settlements, the large body of convicts, soldiers and sailors who brought the traditional folk music of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland; and the first free settlers, some of whom had been exposed to the European classical music tradition in their upbringing. An example of original music by a convict would be an 1861 tune dedicated to settler James Gordon by fiddler constable Alexander Laing. Very little music has survived from this early period, although there are samples of music originating from Sydney and Hobart that date back to the early 19th century. Musical publications from this period preserved in Australian libraries include works by Charles Edward Horsley, William Stanley (composer), Isaac Nathan, Charles Sandys Packer, Frederick Augustus Packer, Carl Linger, Francis Hartwell Henslowe, Frederick Ellard, Raimund Pechotsch and Julius Siede.

Patricia Kopatchinskaja Moldovan-Austrian musician

Patricia Kopatchinskaja is a Moldovan-Austrian-Swiss violinist.

The ARIA Music Award for Best Classical Album, is an award presented within the Fine Arts Awards at the annual ARIA Music Awards. The ARIA Awards recognise "the many achievements of Aussie artists across all music genres", and have been given by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) since 1987.

Lorenza Borrani is an Italian violinist and conductor.

Accademia Arcadia, sometimes called Arcadia, is an Australian baroque ensemble formed in 2001 by Jacqueline Ogeil. Their album Trio Sonatas received a nomination for the 2007 ARIA Award for Best Classical Album.

Daniel Yeadon is a British-born Australian cellist and viola da gambist.

Sally-Anne Russell is an Australian opera singer. Russell is a mezzo-soprano and has performed nationally and in USA, Britain and New Zealand.

Christopher Moore is an Australian viola player. He is the Principal Viola of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and was previously Principal Viola of Australian Chamber Orchestra. Together with Richard Tognetti and Australian Chamber Orchestra Moore was nominated for the 2010 ARIA Award for Best Classical Album for the album Mozart Violin Concertos.


  1. 1 2 Verghis, Sharon, "Bach with more bite pays off" Archived 2 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine .Sydney Morning Herald, 2 September 2005.
  2. Australian Chamber Orchestra, official website, International Touring Countries Archived 11 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine ..
  3. ARIA Awards, Richard Tognetti [ permanent dead link ], ARIA Awards 2008, History: Winners by Artist.
  4. Limelight Magazine, Classical Grammy Awards 2014 Archived 18 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine ., 27 January 2014.
  5. Music Australia, Musical renegades (videorecording) : Australian Chamber Orchestra [ permanent dead link ], National Library of Australia, 12 September 2005.
  6. Great Southern Communications, Musica Surfica Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine ..
  7. Classical Destinations Archived 26 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine ., SBS, July 2009.
  8. Lahey, Vanessa, The Fiddlers | ACO2 [ permanent dead link ], Australian Stage Online, 11 July 2009.
  9. Iaccarino, Clara, "Joy at $10m violin gift in land of beer and cricket" Archived 4 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine .Sydney Morning Herald, 31 January 2007.
  10. Nunn, Louise, "Diva and the $1m cello" Archived 22 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine ., Adelaide Now, 15 August 2007.
  11. 1 2 Morgan, Joyce (2 June 2011). "Violinist revs up ACO's latest million-dollar baby". Sydney Morning Herald . Fairfax Media . Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  12. Commonwealth Bank Group, Community Partnerships Archived 26 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine .