Blog / The company you keep ...

The company you keep ...

Posted on 21 Jan 2015 by Neall Kriete

Joining us on stage this year are an oud-virtuoso, a YouTube Symphony Orchestra sensation, music’s ultimate triple-threat, and America’s favourite mezzo, among other stars of the classical music universe. Pretty good company, if you ask us – don’t believe us? Check them out on Spotify.


Joseph Tawadros 1A c. Josue Castro

‘Tawadros’s melodic compositions scoping emotional depth as they alternate between up-tempo flourish with thrilling oud and guitar runs and reflective contemplation with every note carrying gravitas.’
The Australian

He’s one of Australia’s top musicians and leading composers, and has just taken out the rare ARIA hat trick with his 11th album, Permission to Evaporate, which features music legends Christian McBride and Mike Stern.

Eye-catching with his waxed moustache and bowler hat, Tawadros is notching up new and diverse honours. He won the 2014 NSW Premier’s Multicultural Award for Arts and Culture, and was 2014 NSW Finalist for Young Australian of the year. Tawadros has a keen comedic sensibility, and his quick wit and mid-song banter both delights and disarms audiences. He’s toured with Akmal, and we recently saw him in fun-filled action as guest presenter on the red carpet at the 2014 ARIAs.

Book now: The Four Seasons
9–23 February: Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Newcastle, Sydney, and Wollongong
28 November–9 December: Adelaide, Melbourne, Penrith, Perth, Sydney



‘As Susanna, soprano Taryn Fiebig was outstanding. She displayed pure-toned clarity, while her acting captured her character’s emotional complexity.’
The Australian

Helpmann Award–winning soprano Taryn Fiebig is one of Australia’s most popular and versatile artists.

As a soloist, she has performed the 15th Century Masterpiece El Cant de la Sibil-la with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra for their popular Noël Noël Christmas concerts. Internationally, Taryn has performed in Los Angeles with the contemporary music ensemble L.A. EAR unit, in England with the English Chamber Orchestra in St. John’s Smith Square, London and on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4 in the radio dramas Southland and Pembroke, Arcadia.

Book now: Reflections on Gallipoli
14–27 March: Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney


Mostly Mendelssohn_Homepage tile_248x175

‘One of the miracles and mysteries of music is how the exceptionally gifted young performer can renew the art by making you hear unexpected things in music you’ve known longer than they’ve been alive, by making you feel the music as freshly and intensely as you did when you were first discovering it. Violinist Stefan Jackiw can do this.’
The Boston Globe

Violinist Stefan Jackiw is recognised as ‘one of the best and most interesting young violinists heard in a long time’ (Chicago Sun-Times), captivating audiences with playing that is ‘striking for its intelligence and sensitivity’ (Boston Globe). Hailed for ‘talent that’s off the scale’ (Washington Post), Jackiw has appeared as soloist with the Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco symphony orchestras, among others, and he has collaborated with such renowned conductors as Marin Alsop, Andrew Davis, Giancarlo Guerrero, Hannu Lintu, Ludovic Morlot, Andris Nelsons, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Mikhail Pletnev, Arild Remmereit, Gerard Schwarz and Yuri Temirkanov. His solo performance of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with the YouTube Symphony Orchestra at Australia’s Sydney Opera House in March 2011 was seen live on YouTube by more than 30 million people worldwide.

Book now: Mostly Mendelssohn
14–25 May: Canberra, Melbourne, Newcastle, Sydney


Richard Egarr 05 c.Marco Borggreve_EXTENDED

‘Despite leading a program with no superstar works, guest conductor Richard Egarr lit up Symphony Hall with superstar performances … he drew a crisp, piquant sound … he created the kind of dramatic and textural contrasts that make Haydn and Beethoven work.
– The Boston Globe

Richard Egarr brings a joyful sense of adventure and a keen, enquiring mind to all his music-making. He is equally happy conducting, directing from the keyboard or playing concerti (on organ, harpsichord, fortepiano or modern piano), giving solo recitals, playing chamber-music, and indeed talking about music at every opportunity.

Music Director of the Academy of Ancient Music since 2006, Egarr has further renewed his contract to 2017. Plans with the AAM include a Monteverdi opera cycle at the Barbican Centre where they are an Associate Ensemble. Early in his tenure Egarr established the Choir of the AAM, and operas/oratorios lie at the heart of his repertoire; in 2010 he conducted Mozart’s opera La finta giardiniera in concert at the Barbican Centre and the Theatre des Champs-Elysees. He made his Glyndebourne debut in 2007 conducting a staged version of St Matthew Passion.

Book now: Egarr & The Golden Age
13–28 June: Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, and Wollongong


Susan Graham

 ‘The American mezzo-soprano Susan Graham has for the better part of a decade impressed audiences with her creamy singing and chiseled characterizations …’
The New York Times

Susan Graham – dubbed ‘America’s favorite mezzo’ by Gramophone magazine – rose to the highest echelon of international artists within just a few years of her professional debut, mastering an astonishing range of repertoire and genres along the way. Her operatic roles span four centuries, from Monteverdi’s Poppea to Sister Helen Prejean in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, which was written especially for her. Graham won a Grammy Award for her collection of Ives songs, and her recital repertoire is so broad that 14 composers from Purcell to Sondheim are represented on her most recent album, Virgins, Vixens & Viragos. Throughout her career, however, this distinctly American artist has been recognised as one of the foremost exponents of French vocal music; a Texas native, she was awarded the French government’s prestigious ‘Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur’, both for her popularity as a performer in France and in honour of her commitment to French music.

Book now: A French Celebration with Susan Graham
11–22 July: Adelaide, Melbourne, Newcastle, Perth, Sydney


Olli Mustonen

‘Mustonen’s new Sonata for violin and piano is a striking, bravely uncluttered piece of writing. It opens with a searching, angular solo violin theme that insistently repeats to the backdrop of a cascading piano chorale. A propulsive middle movement gives way to a haunting finale.’
The Guardian

Olli Mustonen has a unique place on today’s music scene. Following the tradition of great masters such as Rachmaninov, Busoni and Enescu, Mustonen combines the roles of his musicianship as composer, pianist and conductor in an equal balance that is quite exceptional. Born in Helsinki, Mustonen began his studies in piano, harpsichord and composition at the age of five. Initially learning with Ralf Gothoni, he subsequently studied piano with Eero Heinonen and composition with Einojuhani Rautavaara.

Mustonen’s life as a composer is at the heart of both his piano playing and conducting. Mustonen has a deeply held conviction that each performance must have the freshness of a first performance, so that audience and performer alike encounter the composer as a living contemporary. In this respect he recalls Mahler’s famous dictum, that tradition can be laziness, yet he is equally suspicious of the performance that seeks only to be different. This tenacious spirit of discovery leads him to explore many areas of repertoire beyond the established canon.

Book now: Olli Mustonen, Bach & Shostakovich
12–20 September: Adelaide, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Wollongong


Sol_Gabetta by Uwe Arens2

‘Gabetta’s ample-breathed phrasings and graceful fingering increase the recording’s warmth farther still as she steers the work toward a celebration of song.’

The Times

The cellist Sol Gabetta was born in Cordoba, Argentina, in 1981 as the daughter of French and Russian parents. She was only ten when she won her first competition in Argentina, and has received many more awards since then: she won the Moscow Tchaikovsky Competition and the ARD Competition in Munich, and has been awarded the Natalia Gutman Prize. In 2004 she created an international sensation when, as winner of the Crédit Suisse Young Artist Award, she gave her début with the Vienna Philharmonic under Valery Gergiev at the Lucerne Festival.

In the last few years, Sol Gabetta has made guest appearances with the Munich Philharmonic, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, SWR Stuttgart, the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington, the Calgary and Seoul Philharmonics, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Het Residentie Orkest, the Trondheim Soloists and the orchestras of Euskadi, Teneriffa and Sevilla. She regularly gives concerts together with the Basel Chamber Orchestra.

Book now: Basel Chamber Orchestra
22–29 November: Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney Opera House




Tickets are now on sale for our 2015 Season, which is a big year for us – not only are we celebrating the Orchestra’s 40th anniversary, but also Richard Tognetti’s 25th year as Artistic Director.

In 2015, we will take on 450 years of music by 28 composers from 11 countries, performed with more than 30 guests artists and the 17 core members of the ACO. You can read more about the full program and download the 2015 Season brochure on our website, and watch the season videos (with helpful introductions by SBS’s Anton Enus) on our YouTube channel.