Beethoven & The 21st Century
4 - 19 February 2016
NICO MUHLY (arr. strings) Part I from Drones & Violin
ERKKI-SVEN TÜÜR Action–Passion–Illusion
TIPPETT A Lament from Variations on an Elizabethan Theme
BRYCE DESSNER (arr. strings) Tenebre
BEETHOVEN (arr. strings) String Quartet in F minor, Op.95 ‘Serioso’
Pekka Kuusisto Director & Violin
ACO Collective (formerly ACO2)
Finnish violinist and long-time friend of the ACO, Pekka Kuusisto, takes up his position as ACO Collective Artistic Director for this season-opening salvo of far-reaching music. His fellow countryman Sibelius rewrote the soaring Rakastava for strings almost 20 years after originally conceiving it for voices, inspired by a local legend of lost love, a tryst conceived in shadow hours, doomed by dawn.
Bryce Dessner’s Tenebre, with the recorded voice of his friend Sufjan Stevens, also emerges from darkness. Dessner is known to many as a guitarist with The National, as well as for collaborations with such artists as Nico Muhly, Philip Glass, Bon Iver, Jonny Greenwood and Steve Reich. Muhly’s Drones & Violin opens the program, a capricious musical conversation, alongside Erkki-Sven Tüür’s transporting Action–Passion–Illusion and Sir Michael Tippett’s vivid Lament from Variations on an Elizabethan Theme, all highlighting the “wayward genius and extraordinary sound” (The Telegraph UK) of Pekka Kuusisto, and ACO Collective.
The intense precision and riveting immediacy of Beethoven’s Op.95 ‘Serioso’ is a vital path to his late string quartets, celebrated by the ACO across this 2016 season.
★★★★½ "ACO's latest Finnish recruit gets off to a stimulating start."
"ACO Collective in safe hands with fine Finn...Kuusisto is familiar as a genre-blurring wunderkind with unfettered interpretative approaches that sees old repertoire treated with spontaneity and the new embraced with breezy enthusiasm."
The Canberra Times
"The first ACO concert of the season brings great satisfaction: the cultural year has truly begun...Kuusisto has a stage presence that is simultaneously elegant and mischievous. With his balletic conducting gestures and expressive eyes, he led the ensemble into the exciting territory of modern works, classic masterpieces and a reimagined Beethoven quartet."
The Herald (UK)
"The young Finn produced some of the most spontaneous and out-of-the-box violin playing and musical interpretation I have heard…what Kuusisto did with it all was fresh and unpredictable."
"Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto, probably the most engaging maverick in classical music today..."
The Telegraph (UK)
"Pekka Kuusisto…surely has the most personal sound of any classical violinist now alive."
Free pre-concert talks
Adelaide Town Hall, with Eugene Ragghianti
Tue 9 Feb 6.45pm
QPAC Concert Hall, with Gillian Wills
Mon 15 Feb 6.15pm
Llewellyn Hall, with Ken Healey
Sat 6 Feb 7.15pm
Arts Centre Melbourne
Sun 7 Feb 1.45pm
Mon 8 Feb 6.45pm
Newcastle City Hall, with Ken Healey
Thu 4 Feb 6.45pm
City Recital Hall Angel Place, with Ken Healey
Sat 13 Feb 6.15pm
Tue 16 Feb 7.15pm
Wed 17 Feb 6.15pm
Fri 19 Feb 12.45pm
Sydney Opera House, with Ken Healey
Sun 14 Feb 1.15pm
Live In The Studio: Beethoven's 'Serioso'
Pekka Kuusisto & ACO Collective rehearse Beethoven's spellbinding String Quartet.
Please switch your mobile phones on
Breaking the ultimate concert taboo - Pekka brings mobile phones on stage.
Earth, and a piece of Finland
The story behind Sibelius's Rakastava.
Pekka & His ACO Collective Debut
ABC Classic FM Martin Buzacott chats to Pekka about his plans for ACO Collective.
Pekka Reveals The Program
From Beethoven's Op.95 to Dessner's 'Tenebre': the Beethoven & The 21st Century program.
Nico Muhly: Drones & Violin
Discover the New York-based composer's piece from his celebrated 'Drones' series.
LISTEN: Beethoven & The 21st Century Playlist
A program featuring music by Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, Sibelius, Beethoven and more.
WATCH: Beethoven & The 21st Century
Full live performance at Sydney Opera House.
Chris Moore's Last Hurrah
Listen to an exclusive ABC Radio interview with the intrepid violist before we bid him farewell.
Bryce Dessner: Tenebre
The modern-day classical artist on his critically acclaimed collaboration with Kronos Quartet.
Six degrees of separation. Well, sort of…
A challenging take on the famous Six Degrees of Separation theory.
Meet: Pekka Kuusisto
An intrepid musical mind takes up the artistic direction of ACO Collective.
In the Press: Beethoven & The 21st Century
Read reviews from our 2016 season opener tour.