Blog / Aiko's ACO Academy

Aiko's ACO Academy

Posted on 2 Jul 2018 by ACO

Aiko Goto mentoring a student during ACO Academy.

Aiko Goto is celebrating 20 years with the ACO this year. 

Throughout her two decades with the Orchestra, Aiko has made enormous contributions to our Learning & Engagement programs, committing herself to the development of young string players across the country.

One such example of Aiko’s care and passion for music education is ACO Academy - our annual program, directed by Aiko, that brings together top string students from around Australia for a week of intensive rehearsals and performances with ACO mentors.

In the lead-up to our seventh ACO Academy, we gathered some of our favourite pieces of feedback from past participants and audience members to show just how much of an impact Aiko’s program has had.


“I can never quite believe that so many young students and I are given the opportunity to meet, rehearse and perform alongside such internationally acclaimed and experienced musicians. They know exactly what they are doing, and I absolutely love the professional but welcoming atmosphere that continually draws me back to the Academy each year.”

– Emily Su, ACO Academy alumni

“Words are not enough to describe how absolutely amazing Friday night was. It was a total delight and I got so emotional (many moments of holding back to tears - and I wasn't even a proud parent watching!) seeing such amazing musicians come together after only a week and playing in such an uplifting and skillful way.”

– Rebecca, audience member

“So amazing, with energy flowing from each ACO player with equal amounts of control; us youths sat in the middle and soaked it all up. I took so much out of sitting next to Nikki via osmosis.”

– Jonathan Bruhl, ACO Academy alumni

“Before I attended ACO Academy I used to become tense when performing and this restricted the sound I produced. However, after observing the members of the ACO and especially my mentor Aiko, I learnt how to relax when performing.”

– Edward Walton, ACO Academy alumni

“It was unforgettable. The most fun I have ever had (or very close to).”

– Jamie Miles, AO Academy alumni


ACO Academy 2018 begins on 8 July, running for one week before concluding with a public performance at the Melbourne Recital Centre. Tickets are free, but bookings are essential. Reserve yours via the link below.

Reserve Tickets