The Australian Chamber Orchestra performing

The Australian Chamber Orchestra travels a remarkable road. Founded by cellist John Painter in November 1975, this 17-piece string orchestra lives and breathes music, making waves around the world for their explosive performances and brave interpretations. Steeped in history but always looking to the future, ACO programs embrace celebrated classics alongside new commissions, and adventurous cross-artform collaborations.

Led by Artistic Director Richard Tognetti since 1990, the ACO performs more than 100 concerts across Australia each year. This intrepid spirit isn’t confined to the country they call home, as the Orchestra maintains an international touring schedule that finds them in many of the world’s greatest concert halls including Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, London’s Barbican Centre and Royal Festival Hall, Vienna’s Musikverein, New York’s Carnegie Hall, Birmingham’s Symphony Hall and Frankfurt’s Alte Oper. In 2018 the ACO commenced a three-year London residency as International Associate Ensemble at Milton Court in partnership with the Barbican Centre, with whom they share a commitment in presenting concerts that inspire, embolden and challenge audiences. Whether performing in Manhattan, New York, or Wollongong, NSW, the ACO is unwavering in their commitment to creating transformative musical experiences.

The Orchestra regularly collaborates with artists and musicians who share their ideology: from Emmanuel Pahud, Steven Isserlis, Dawn Upshaw, Olli Mustonen, Brett Dean and Ivry Gitlis, to Neil Finn, Jonny Greenwood, Katie Noonan, Danny Spooner, Barry Humphries and Meow Meow; to visual artists and film makers such as Michael Leunig, Bill Henson, Shaun Tan, Jon Frank, and Jennifer Peedom, who have co-created unique, hybrid productions for which the ACO has become renowned.

In addition to their national and international touring schedule, the Orchestra has an active recording program across CD, vinyl and digital formats. Their recordings of Bach’s violin works have won three consecutive ARIA Awards. Recent releases include Mozart’s Last Symphonies, Bach Beethoven: Fugue and the soundtrack to the acclaimed cinematic collaboration, Mountain. Documentaries featuring the ACO have been shown on television worldwide and won awards at film festivals on four continents.



The ACO are proudly Supported by:
The logos of the Australia Council for the Arts and NSW Government