Blog / ACO Uluru Festival

ACO Uluru Festival

Posted on 30 Oct 2015 by Cristina Maldonado

As we continue to celebrate the Orchestra's 40th anniversary, the ACO arrives in the red centre of Australia. For the first time, we are performing a series of intimate concerts in Uluru, at the Ayers Rock Resort. 

Led by Richard Tognetti and featuring special guests Mark Atkins playing didgeridoo and Steve Pigram lending his soulful voice and rhythmic guitar to harmonise with the Orchestra, the concerts are limited to a maximum of 380 guests.

ACO with guests Mark Atkins and Steve Pigram on their way to the Ayers Rock Resort.

One of the highlights of the first performance is Vox Amoris, a work composed for Richard Tognetti by esteemed Latvian composer, Pēteris Vasks. The work speaks about the greatest power in the world - love.  Vasks’ wish for the piece is for it to 'reach the listeners making the world a little brighter and more open to love'.  The music of one of the great Baroque composers, Rameau, adds transparency, subtlety and refinement to this program which concludes with some of Tognetti's famous arrangements including Radiohead’s How To Disappear Completely, sung by Principal Violin Satu Vänskä, and a special guest, Mark Atkins, accompanied by the ACO.

In rehearsals with Mark Atkins for the Uluru Festival.

The Saturday morning concert includes works written for the ACO by one of Australia’s greatest composers, Peter Sculthorpe, juxtaposed with concertos by the Baroque master of string composition, Vivaldi. Sculthorpe died in August 2014, and one of his most defining qualities was his ability to create the feeling of the Australian landscape in his music. This was achieved in part by his study of Aboriginal music, as well as his deep love of landscape, and his concern with issues of conservation. 

Saturday evening’s concert pairs the music of contemporary Estonian composer of classical and sacred music, Arvo Pärt, with that of the great JS Bach, revered for his technical command, artistic beauty, and intellectual depth. Pärt, the leading exponent of the famous hypnotic Baltic sound, brought us a sort of 'new spiritualism'. His music, beautifully written for strings, is paired with Bach's Art of the Fugue and the A Minor Concerto for Violin, featuring Richard Tognetti.  Steve Pigram, a friend and regular collaborator with the ACO, joins the Orchestra to sing and perform several of his well-known and much-loved songs, including his famous Mimi.

Glenn Christensen, Alexandru-Mihai Bota and Ike See. 

'I always dreamed that I would be able to bring the meditative aspect of post-modernism, that is Arvo Pärt and Peter Sculthorpe, into the dreamiest landscape on the planet - the red centre of our glorious land.' Richard Tognetti, Artistic director & Lead Violin.

#ACO15: ACO Uluru Festival
30-31 October

Friday 30 October 5pm

Richard Tognetti Violin
Mark Atkins Didgeridoo
Satu Vänskä Voice
RAMEAU Entr'acte: Suite des Vents from Les Boréades
RAMEAU (arr. Ross) Chaconne from Dardanus
RADIOHEAD (arr. Tognetti) How to Disappear Completely
MARK ATKINS Improvisation
PETE SEEGER (arr. Tognetti) Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

Saturday 31 October 11am

Richard Tognetti Violin

VIVALDI Spring from The Four Seasons
VIVALDI Grave from Concerto per la solennità di S Lorenzo
VIVALDI Presto from Violin Concerto in A minor, RV356
VIVALDI Autumn from The Four Seasons
MARCELLO Sinfonia (Andante) from Il pianto e il riso delle quattro stagioni
SCULTHORPE Sonata for Strings No.2
VIVALDI Summer from The Four Seasons

Saturday 31 October 5pm

Richard Tognetti Violin
Satu Vänskä Violin
Stephen Pigram Guitar & Voice
JS BACH Concerto for Two Violins in D minor
ARVO PÄRT Silouan's Song
JS BACH Contrapunctus 1-4 from The Art of Fugue
STEPHEN PIGRAM (arr. Grandage) Being
PIGRAM BROTHERS Saltwater Cowboy
STEPHEN PIGRAM (arr. Grandage) Mimi