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About the Orchestra

What is a chamber orchestra?

The core ACO comprises seventeen string instruments: 5 first vioins, 5 second violins, 3 violas, 3 cellos and one double bass. However, the ACO is flexible. In any given concert, there might be anything from 5 to 50 musicians on stage, with any combination of instruments. 

Who is Richard Tognetti?

Violinist, conductor and composer Richard Tognetti is the Artistic Director of the ACO. Read his biography.

What is the makeup of the ACO?

The ACO has 17 full time string musicians: ten violins, three violas, three cellos and one double bass. However, the ACO is flexible and there may be anything from 5 to 50 musicians on stage in a concert. This means that it is able to perform both chamber music and symphony orchestra repertoire.

What instruments do the musicians play on?

The ACO is fortunate to have been loaned many very fine instruments. Richard Tognetti plays a 1743 Guarneri del Gesù violin, on loan from an anonymous Australian benefactor. Principal Cello Timo-Veikko Valve plays a 1729 Giuseppe Guarneri Filius Andreae cello, on loan from Peter Weiss AO. Principal Violin Helena Rathbone plays a 1759 Guadagnini violin on loan from the Commonwealth Bank Group. Principal Violin Satu Vänskä plays a 1728/29 Stradivarius violin owned by the ACO Instrument Fund, through which investors participate in the ownership of historic instruments. Principal Bass Maxime Bibeau plays a late-16th century Gasparo da Salo double bass kindly made available to him by anonymous Australian benefactors. You can read more and watch videos about the instruments on each musician's webpage on this site.

Attending a concert

How long is the concert?
The majority of ACO concerts last approximately two hours with a 20 minute interval.

What time should I arrive? What happens if I am late for the performance?
Concerts start right on the advertised time. We recommend you arrive at least 20 minutes in advance. If you are late for your ACO concert, you may be locked out of the hall until an appropriate break in the performance. If you leave during the concert, you won't be re-admitted until a suitable break.

Is there a dress code?

Live performance rules
Noise of any kind – even low talking, whispering and coughing can be distracting to the musicians and interfere with the audience's enjoyment of the music. So please save all your astute asides, insightful comments and throat-clearing exercises until the interval and please turn off your mobile phone. Naturally, no photo-taking or use of recording devices is permitted at any time.

Are there pre-concert talks?
Yes, there is a pre-concert talk 45 minutes prior to all subscription concerts at the concert venue. You will also find podcasts and videos about the concert on the concert page of this website.

Are there concert programs?
Yes, printed concert programs are free at the concert. We ask that you share one between two where possible. You may also download the program from the concert page of this website from one week prior to the tour.

Will the concert be broadcast or recorded?
Most concerts are broadcast by ABC Classic FM. Broadcast dates can be found in the calendar on this website.

How can I find out more information about my venue?
You can find out more details about your concert venue here.

Finding more information

How do I find information about the ACO?
If you can't find what you need on this website, phone 1800 444 444 (or +61 2 8274 3888 if outside Australia) Mon to Fri, 9am to 5pm.

How do I get a copy of ACO printed brochures?
You can request a copy of our printed brochures to be mailed to you or download them here

How do I find out what concerts are on in my city?

  • Visit the page for your closest venue here.
  • Look at the calendar and choose your state or city in the location filter.

Where is the ACO located?
Our rehearsal studio, box office and administration offices are located at Opera Quays, 2 East Circular Quay, Sydney NSW 2000 Australia (next to the Dendy Cinema, close to the Sydney Opera House).

Tickets & Bookings

How do I contact the ACO Box Office?
Phone: 1800 444 444 (or +61 2 8274 3888 if outside Australia)
Fax: +61 2 8274 3887
Hours: Mon to Fri, 9am to 5pm.

How do I purchase tickets?
You can purchase ACO tickets:

  • Online from this website;
  • By phoning 1800 444 444 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm AEST);
  • In person at the ACO box office at Opera Quays, 2 East Circular Quay, Sydney (Mon - Fri, 9am - 5pm) or from the concert venue.

Can I buy a ticket on the day of the performance?
Yes, tickets are available on the day of the performance from the venue, subject to availability.

Do I have to subscribe or can I buy tickets for just one concert?
You can book tickets for individual concerts. We also offer discounted packages of three or more concerts and full subscriptions, which are renewable on an annual basis.

What are the payment methods?

  • Online bookings: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners credit/debit cards;
  • Phone bookings: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners credit/debit cards or cheques;
  • In person bookings: all credit cards, cash and cheque payments. Please note we do not have EFTPOS facilities.

Are there any booking fees?
A booking fee of $7.50 applies per transaction for all online and telephone bookings of 2017 events, regardless of the number of tickets or events purchased simultaneously. Please see for more details. When booking through venues/agents different booking fees may apply.

How do I receive my tickets?
Tickets will be mailed to Australian addresses by standard Australia Post. However if the concert you are attending is less than 7 days from the date of purchase, tickets will be held for collection at the ACO Customer Service Desk in the foyer of the performance venue.

Do you post tickets and CDs overseas?
We do not post tickets overseas: tickets will be available for collection from the ACO Customer Service Desk located in the venue foyer one hour prior to the performance. We do post CDs overseas.

What time do I need to arrive at the venue to collect tickets?
Tickets held for collection will be are available from the ACO Customer Service Desk in the foyer of the venue one hour prior to the concert. In order to avoid long queues please collect tickets at least 20 minutes prior to the commencement of the concert.

I’ve lost my tickets - how do I get replacements?
If you realise you've lost your tickets before the day of the concert, call the ACO Box Office on 1800 444 444. If you realise on the day of the concert, visit the ACO Customer Service Desk located in the foyer of each venue from one hour before the concert.

Am I eligible for a concession?
We offer concession prices to full-time students, the holders of Centrelink Health Care cards, Pension Concession cards, DVA Repatriation Health cards and Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card. Seniors Card holders are not eligible for concession prices. The ACO is a Companion Card affiliate. Proof of concession eligibility must be supplied when requested and may be required prior to the admission to each concert.

Generally if you are under 30 years of age you can purchase discounted tickets in any price reserve to our concerts.

How many people constitute a group booking?
Groups of 8 or more may book tickets at a discounted price.

How do I make a schools group booking?
Teachers may book tickets for groups of students at $20 per student and teacher. Details.

How do I redeem a promotion code?
You may receive a promotion code via a special offer. Please enter the code into the promotion code box when booking tickets online or mention it when booking by phone. For full terms and conditions visit the ACO website Terms and Conditions

How do I redeem an Entertainment Voucher?
ACO is an entertainment voucher affiliate. Please follow the instructions on the entertainment voucher for relevant concert purchases at your venue.

Can I select my own seats when booking online?
Yes for most ACO concerts you can select your own seat by booking through this website.

Access seating and venue accessibility
For all special access seating requirements and venue accessibility information, call the ACO Box Office on 1800 444 444. If your concert is on a weekend and outside ACO Box Office hours, please contact the relevant venue box office directly. See access page for venue contact details.

Exchanging Tickets

Can I exchange my tickets?
Yes. Details can be found on this page.

Are tickets transferable?
Yes, if you cannot attend your performance, you can simply pass your tickets on to another person.


What are the benefits of becoming a subscriber?

  • Experience the diverse repertoire for which the ACO is renowned by seeing every concert that comes to you city.
  • Save up to 20% on your tickets.
  • Get the best available seats and keep your seats year after year.
  • Receive invitations to events to meet the musicians.
  • Exchange your tickets to any other subscription concert at the ACO box office.
  • Pay in two instalments.
  • Save 10% on extra tickets for friends.
  • Receive a free ACO CD and offers from our partners.

When do subscriptions open?
Full subscriptions are generally available at the end of August each year for the following concert season.

How do I become a subscriber?
Buy online
Phone the the ACO box office on 1800 444 444
Completing the booking form in the ACO annual subscription brochure and returning it to the ACO Box Office, PO Box R21, Royal Exchange NSW 1225.

Can I pay in instalments?
Your subscription can be paid in two instalments. The first instalment to be paid when the order is made, and the second instalment will be charged in the first week of December prior to the concert season year.

How do I renew my subscription?
As a renewing subscriber, you will be sent a renewal notice along with the ACO annual brochure. To renew your subscription, you must complete the renewal notice and return it to the ACO box office. You may also renew your subscription on this website.

Can I move my subscription seats?
You can request a change of seating on your subscription renewal form or when renewing online.

How do I change my personal details for my subscription account?

  • By amending your details on your renewal form before posting;
  • By logging into your personal account online;
  • By calling the ACO Box Office on 1800 444 444;
  • By sending a letter with your updated details.

How do I change the primary name on my subscription account?

  • By amending your details on your renewal form before posting;
  • By logging into your personal account online;
  • By calling the ACO Box Office on 1800 444 444;
  • By sending a letter with your updated details.


What merchandise does the ACO offer for sale?
A full list of available CDs and DVDs can be found here. You can buy them online or in person at the ACO office.

How much is postage?
There is no additional fee for postage and handling. This is subject to change.

My Account

What is My Account?
You will need to create an online account in order to purchase tickets from the ACO. This account holds information such as your mailing and billing addresses and also your email address and phone number. Any purchases you make will also be listed here for your reference.

How do I create an account?
When purchasing tickets online for the first time you will be prompted to create an account. Enter the information required including a password that you will remember. You will receive an email confirming your registration.

Logging on
Whenever you return to this website to buy tickets, you will be asked to log in, so you don't have to create an account every time.

How can I update my personal details?
By logging on.

If I update my email address, will my password and username need updating?

I can’t login and have forgotten my password. Can you help me?
If you forget your password simply click on the ‘Forgotten Password’ link below the log in area of Login/Register page. Enter your email address and press ‘Reset Password’.

Gift Vouchers

Can I purchase a gift certificate?
Gift certificates may be purchased online, in person and by calling the ACO box office. If you don't spend the whole amount in one purchase, the remainder is kept on your account for future use. You can use gift certificates to buy tickets, subscriptions or merchandise. They are valid for 12 months from date of purchase.

How do I redeem a gift certificate?
Gift certificates may be redeemed online when you buy tickets or merchandise, in person and by calling the ACO box office.

Gift Certificates purchased from the ACO cannot be redeemed at venue box offices or agencies and, if redeemed for tickets, this should be at least 24 hours prior to the concert you wish to attend.

Can I top up my gift certificate?
If the total amount due for your order is greater than the amount you have on your gift certificate, you can pay the remaining amount owing using a credit/debit card or cheque.