ACO2 HELENA RATHBONE - DIRECTOR
“ACO2 is breathing pure musical oxygen. If you’re looking for the finest young string players in this country and, most probably well beyond, this is where you will find them.” The Australian
ACO2 is the critically acclaimed string ensemble that delivers the ACO’s regional touring and education programs. It connects the elite musicians of the ACO with Australia’s most talented young professional musicians at the outset of their careers, creating a combined ensemble with a fresh, energetic performance style.
These young professionals have all participated in the ACO’s year-long Emerging Artists’ Program. They are in high demand from Australia’s professional orchestras but instead choose to spend time experiencing the ACO’s high-octane performance style for intense touring periods. It is testament to the ACO’s Emerging Artists Program’s success that former ACO2 members Liisa Pallandi, Glenn Christensen, Rebecca Chan and Madeleine Boud were appointed members of the ACO.
ACO2 performs in regional and metropolitan Australia, runs workshops and presents concerts for school-aged students in regional and metropolitan areas. In this way the ACO’s Education Program identifies, connects and mentors three generations of Australian string players, making the future very bright indeed.
In 2015, the Australian Chamber Orchestra presents two ACO2 tours. In May ACO2 visited areas of New South Wales and Queensland with Around the World. In August, the collective is going to the Northern Territory, Victoria and South Australia with The Best of British program.
ACO2 commenced touring in 2007 and has since toured to over 70 regional centres in every state and territory. In 2013, the ACO presented ACO2 in a national subscription tour led by Richard Tognetti and it was named by The Australian as ’one of the year’s must see concerts’.
In 2014, ACO2 was featured in four performances at the Canberra International Music Festival. ACO2 performed in the Classical Destinations II television series screened worldwide and released on CD and DVD by Sony.
ACO2 regularly works with international and Australian guest artists of the highest calibre, including violinists Elizabeth Wallfisch, Pekka Kuusisto, Lara St. John and Thomas Gould; cellist Daniel Müller-Schott; harpist Alice Giles; recorder virtuoso Genevieve Lacey; singer/songwriter Tim Freedman from The Whitlams; and oud player Joseph Tawadros. Biennially, ACO2 is the Orchestra in Residence at the Vasse Felix Festival in WA.
Explore past tours and events featuring ACO2 and Emerging Artists from the ACO web archives.