Australian Chamber Orchestra Announce 2020 Season
In 2020 the Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO) celebrates Richard Tognetti's 30th year as Artistic Director. Since his appointment in 1990, Tognetti has endlessly experimented with the musical form, honouring the music of the past while lifting chamber and orchestral music into sublime new realms. His 30-year leadership of the ACO has been characterised by experimentation, ground-breaking collaborations and immersive, dynamic performances that have seen the 17-piece ensemble hailed as 'one of the wonders of the musical world' (The Guardian UK).
In a Season that spans nearly a millennium of music, the ACO will perform music from Hildegard von Bingen to Bach and Beethoven to world premieres by the world's most exciting composers. The Orchestra will celebrate the talent within its own ranks, with musicians including Satu Vänskä, Helena Rathbone, Timo-Veikko Valve and Maxime Bibeau performing solos throughout the Season while guest artists include Australian tenor Stuart Skelton, acoustic and electronica artist Anna Meredith and director and keyboardist Jonathan Cohen, in what marks his Australian debut.
The ACO will celebrate Tognetti's versatility and ongoing contribution to the Orchestra as an arranger, composer, collaborator, champion of new works, and as a source of inspiration for new music in The Four Seasons & Beyond, a concert that looks to the future as much as the past. Tognetti will perform as soloist in the Australian premiere of composer, producer and performer Anna Meredith's ANNO: Four Seasons, a work that intertwines Vivaldi's masterpiece with new compositions for electronics and string orchestra. Meredith herself will join the Orchestra to perform electronics in her ACO debut.
The concert will open with the world premiere of a new work for electric violin and strings by US composer Samuel Adams, written especially for Tognetti to mark his 30-year anniversary, as well as Tognetti's own composition, Beyond, featuring the ACO's Principal Violin Satu Vänskä on vocals.
In acknowledgment of another notable anniversary - 250 years since the birth of the great Ludwig van Beethoven - the ACO will bookend 2020 with two programs dedicated to celebrating the composer's enduring influence. To open 2020, the ACO will present the rare opportunity to hear Beethoven's first three symphonies together, including the magnificent Eroica.
The Season will close with Beethoven 250, a concert that signposts every 50 years from Beethoven's birth with a significant composition of each era, in a presentation of the sheer magnitude of Beethoven's influence and the development of music over the past 250 years. The concert includes music by Schubert, Vaughan Williams, a world premiere by US-UK composer Anna Clyne, and, to finish, Beethoven's Cavatina & Grosse Fuge, his last major work written shortly before his death.
Australian tenor Stuart Skelton will join Dutch mezzo-soprano Christianne Stotijn and the ACO in an exclusive Australian appearance in 2020 for Mahler's sublime symphony for two vocalists and orchestra, Das Lied von der Erde (Song of the Earth). British violinist Hugo Ticciati will make his ACO debut in a program that delves into wellbeing, mindfulness and the restorative power of music, while one of the ACO's favourite collaborators, Russian pianist Polina Leschenko, reunites with Tognetti for a performance of Mendelssohn's exuberant Double Concerto. Perennially in-demand director Jonathan Cohen will make his Australian debut directing the ACO in a dazzling baroque concert and violinist Matthew Truscott will return to direct ACO Collective on a tour of regional Western Australia.
The ACO will maintain its position as Australia's most travelled orchestra, embarking on an international tour to Japan, France and the UK in October 2020, including the Orchestra's third season in-residence as the Barbican Centre's International Associate Ensemble at Milton Court in London. In addition the ACO will give performances at the TarraWarra, UKARIA and Vasse Felix festivals and return to Hobart to perform a concert presented by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.