Murder & Redemption - Australian Chamber Orchestra

Murder & Redemption

2 - 14 February 2017


TRAD. (arr. Nico Muhly) Selection of American folk songs
JANÁČEK (arr. strings) String Quartet No.1 Kreutzer Sonata
TRAD. (arr. Nico Muhly) More American folk songs
JOHN ADAMS Shaker Loops: I. Shaking and trembling
BRACKETT (arr. Pekka Kuusisto) Simple Gifts (Shaker hymn)
JOHN ADAMS Shaker Loops: II. Hymning slews, III. Loops and verses, IV. A final shaking


Pekka Kuusisto Director & Violin
Sam Amidon Voice & Banjo

“We invited Pekka to unleash his imagination and this is the result.” Richard Tognetti

From Classical to Folk

Inspirational classical music mastermind Pekka Kuusisto and the Australian Chamber Orchestra are joined by American modern folk hero Sam Amidon in Murder & Redemption, a stunning concert experience that takes the listener on a vivid journey from darkness into light.

Experience the world premiere of this exceptional collaboration between Pekka, Sam and “one of the greatest chamber orchestras in the world” (The Guardian, UK) as they perform folk masterpieces re-imagined by indie-classical composer Nico Muhly and Amidon himself, interwoven with thematically-resonant classical works by Janáček, John Adams and more.

This innovative opening to the ACO’s 2017 concert season has it all: sex, murder, transformation, mercy.  Janáček’s Kreutzer Sonata is based on Tolstoy’s novella, a scandalous tale re-imagined in a concert format by Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto, “a classical performer who genuinely connects what goes on inside the concert hall with the world outside – a rare and important performer for our times.” (The Guardian, UK).  

Amidon, a hit with Australian festival audiences and whose interpretations of American folksongs have been described as “surreal”, “magical” and “quietly psychedelic”, makes his ACO debut. 

To view lyrics from Sam Amidon's music, please click here.

Image: Pekka Kuusisto

Image: Sam Amidon. Photo by Ferguson.


The Australian

"In impeccable form throughout, the ACO strings glimmer through the Adams and, under Kuusisto’s revisionary direction, open the troubled veins of the Janáček to reveal its most disturbing outbursts and discomforting ­interactions."

The Age

"The toe-tapping Finn shares much with ACO artistic director Richard Tognetti, radiating enthusiasm as he transitions seamlessly between solo and tutti roles."

The Canberra Times

"Kuusisto has a stage presence that is simultaneously elegant and mischievous." 

The Australian

"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." 

Free pre-concert talks

Enhance your concert experience - join us for a chat with music experts 45 minutes before every concert.

Adelaide Town Hall, with Anna Melville
Tue 7 Feb 6.45pm

QPAC Concert Hall, with Anna Melville
Mon 13 Feb 6.15pm

Llewellyn Hall, with Anna Melville
Sat 4 Feb 7.15pm

Arts Centre Melbourne, with Anna Melville
Sun 5 Feb 1.45pm
Mon 6 Feb 6.45pm

Newcastle City Hall, with Anna Melville
Thu 2 Feb 6.45pm

City Recital Hall, with Anna Melville
Wed 8 Feb 6.15pm
Fri 10 Feb 12.45pm
Sat 11 Feb 6.15pm
Tue 14 Feb 7.15pm

Sydney Opera House, with Anna Melville
Sun 12 Feb 1.15pm