Maja 169

International Tour: London

The ACO takes up its Barbican Residency for 2022, performing our River, Indies & Idols, and Beethoven & Bridgetower programs.


Touring 27, 28 & 29 October 2022.


The ACO has always been an international orchestra. We're excited to rekindle our relationships with international venues and audiences in 2022.

In October 2022 we return to London, performing 'Beethoven & Bridgetower', 'River' and 'Indies & Idols'. Our Barbican performances are supported by the Australian Government as part of the UK/Australia Season 2021-22.



Beethoven and Bridgetower, 27 October

Beethoven meets violinist George Bridgetower, ripping the classical sonata wide open in the iconic 9th Sonata, dedicated to Rodolphe Kreutzer. Then, inspired by Tolstoy’s novella of obsessive jealousy (inspired by Beethoven), Janáček pushes the string quartet to its limits in his own fraught Kreutzer. The ACO and their maverick music director Richard Tognetti expand both masterpieces for full orchestra before putting them under the microscope.

But first, regular ACO collaborator William Barton takes centre-stage, combining his spellbinding blend of vocals and virtuosic didgeridoo playing. The orchestra meet a kindred spirit in the form of Thomas Adès, whose evocative Shanty embraces the progressive spirit of the composers who inspire him. And in the midst are two more pioneers of their times: Ruth Crawford Seeger and George Walker.


THOMAS ADÈS Shanty – Over the Sea
RUTH CRAWFOOD SEEGER Andante for Strings
LEOŠ JANÁČEK String Quartet No 1 (arr Richard Tognetti)
GEORGE WALKER Lyric for Strings
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN Violin Sonata No 9, Bridgetower (ex Kreutzer) (arr Richard Tognetti)


Australian Chamber Orchestra
Richard Tognetti director & violin
William Barton voice & didgeridoo


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River, 28 October

Rivers have shaped the earth and shaped the human species. We love and abuse rivers, worship and pollute them, flood them for wealth and turn to them for solace.

Immersing yourself in a river is the simplest way to feel its life force and to understand our instinctive connection to it. From director Jennifer Peedom comes this powerful collaboration created as a companion film to our record-breaking production, Mountain. River is another extraordinary tale of nature and humans as partners and adversaries.

With a musical score performed live and directed by Richard Tognetti, featuring his own music alongside Bach, Vivaldi, Ravel, Jonny Greenwood, and a new collaboration with William Barton, along with Australian composer Piers Burbrook de Vere.

River is a reminder that it is never too late to ask ourselves: ‘are we being good ancestors?’ The film asks us all to examine pleasure, loss and the consequences of our actions. While all the while immersing us in the experience of body and water, of music and life.


Australian Chamber Orchestra
Richard Tognetti director & violin
William Barton vocalist


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Indies & Idols, 29 October

Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood and The National’s Bryce Dessner were both influenced by great composers, and the development of their musical language is a very personal journey. In this program you’ll hear their music alongside the source of their inspiration.

Bryce Dessner’s Réponse Lutosławski is a homage to Lutosławski, whom he credits with having illuminated the way forward in his own musical development. Similarly, Jonny Greenwood described himself as a ‘fan-boy’ when meeting Poland’s most eminent living composer, Krzysztof Penderecki. His enthusiasm for Penderecki’s music has introduced it to a new generation of music lovers. The suite from Greenwood’s film score, There Will Be Blood, is foreboding, hopeful and beautifully evocative.

Richard Tognetti arranged Szymanowski’s soaring String Quartet No.2 for string orchestra, and it remains one of his favourite works. Fusing neoclassicism and Polish folk music, Szymanowski pushes the colour palette of a string quartet to its limit, creating a neo-romantic, even expressionistic, sound world. In the hands of the ACO this sound world reaches new heights.


WITOLD LUTOSŁAWSKI Musique Funebre: Prologue
BRYCE DESSNER Réponse Lutosławski
KRZYSZTOF PENDERECKI Three Pieces in Baroque Style: I. Aria
JONNY GREENWOOD Suite from There Will Be Blood
KAROL SZYMANOWSKI (arr. Richard Tognetti) String Quartet No.2, Op.56


Australian Chamber Orchestra
Richard Tognetti director & violin
Guildhall School Musicians


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The ACO’s Barbican performances are supported by the Australian Government as part of the UK/Australia Season 2021-22.