2017 has been a huge year for the ACO. Between releasing cinematic collaborations, touring Europe, revisiting audience favourites and welcoming back musical friends old and new, our musicians have hardly had a moment to catch their breath.
But with the dust settling on our final performance of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, we found a moment a chat to some of our players to see which moments stuck out from a blockbuster year.
I had a couple of highlights from this 2017 season; first was revisiting the Tarrawarra Festival in the Yarra Valley. The minimalist beauty of the art gallery where we play surrounded by the rolling hills and vines is a freedom and an inspiration to make music.
I also really enjoyed playing Beethoven’s late Quartet, Opus 130, in the Helsinki Music Centre this November. The striking new timber and glass hall with its crystal clear acoustic and the intense concentration of the audience who journeyed with us through every phrase was a huge buzz!
My 2017 highlight was the epic Christmas Oratorio with the Choir of London. The music of Bach is somewhat of a bridge between the human and the divine, and this work is such an uplifting way to end the season.
The Bach Violin Concertos stands out to me. I really enjoy playing baroque and classical music and when the orchestra plays music from this period there is a certain magic on stage. Richard’s interpretation of Bach and Haydn is simply stunning.
My highlights of 2017 were the two international tours – visiting the Barbican in March and our later European Tour in November. I can’t chose which concert on these tours I liked best, but stand-outs include the ACO’s debut in Finland, and performing pieces by Brett Dean and Olli Mustonen, two composers who’ve played with us before, in Zurich. Performing at Buckingham Palace was also a great opportunity.
One more highlight was ACO Academy. I can still remember each students’ face, and I'm so proud of how well they played at the concert. I was very impressed by the Academy students’ effort, hard practice and concentration during the Academy week.
After a break during the Christmas period, the ACO returns to the stage in February 2018 for our explosive season opener Tognetti Tchaikovsky Brahms.