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The ACO Announces Opening Festival At Pier 2/3, Walsh Bay Arts Precinct

The ACO Announces Opening Festival At Pier 2/3, Walsh Bay Arts Precinct

The ACO celebrates the opening of its new home with special guests including William Barton, Jimmy Barnes, Jane Campion, Omar Musa, Genevieve Lacey, Slava Grigoryan and more.

The Australian Chamber Orchestra will celebrate the opening of its spectacular new home at Pier 2/3 with a full weekend of festivities including thrilling live concerts, boundary-pushing collaborations, stimulating talks, engaging family shows, digital live streams and more.

Over three days, the ACO will throw open the doors of its harbourside home at Pier 2/3 in Sydney's revitalised Walsh Bay Arts Precinct, inviting audiences to experience the full spectrum of its new programming offerings at this state-of-the-art performing arts space for the first time.

In keeping with its collaborative spirit, the ACO will be joined by iconic artists and close friends of the Orchestra including didgeridoo virtuoso, singer and composer William Barton, singer/songwriter Jimmy Barnes, filmmaker Jane Campion, poet, musician and artist Omar Musa, guitarist Slava Grigoryan, pianist Tamara-Anna Cislowska and actors from the Sydney Theatre Company.

"This is one of the biggest moments in the ACO's 47-year history," said ACO Managing Director Richard Evans. "We've been underground for 20 years, so to have an inspiring space where our musicians can not only practice and rehearse, but a public-facing home where we can welcome people to experience performances, workshops, talks, family shows, collaborations... It's completely transformative for the ACO.

"We can't wait to welcome our wonderful audiences, collaborators, friends and supporters of all ages into our new home."

The ACO's Opening Festival at Pier 2/3, Walsh Bay Arts Precinct will open with a Smoking Ceremony, led by Indigenous musician Matthew Doyle, before a special Opening Celebration concert led by Richard Tognetti and featuring guest artists including William Barton, Jimmy Barnes, Tamara-Anna Cislowska and actors from the Sydney Theatre Company. Music In Time will see the Orchestra explore the most sublime, influential and beloved music of the last thousand years over two concerts, while the ACO will present performances from artists including poet, artist and musician Omar Musa and the Grigoryan Brothers as well as an eye-opening talk featuring filmmaker Jane Campion, artist Ben Quilty and dancer and artistic director Frances Rings, presented in partnership with The Wheeler Centre.

The ACO's youngest audiences are invited to participate in the fun, with a special family morning filled with engaging musical activities, from a rousing string quartet concert in the ACO's new Rehearsal Room to a free 'make-your-own-instrument' activity station.

The ACO has planned a program of digital activities over the weekend so that the Orchestra's national audiences can participate in the celebrations. Three of the concerts will be streamed live for free to audiences across Australia, while artists will engage with audiences directly through social media takeovers, behind-the-scenes videos and more.



Smoking Ceremony
6.30-6.45pm Belgiorno Room
Indigenous musician Matthew Doyle leads a Smoking Ceremony to officially open Pier 2/3.

ACO at Pier 2/3 Opening Celebration
7.30-9.30pm The Neilson
Richard Tognetti and the ACO bring together an all-star line-up to celebrate the opening of the Orchestra's spectacular new home. Featuring William Barton, Jimmy Barnes (pictured above), Tamara-Anna Cislowska and actors from the Sydney Theatre Company.

Due to anticipated demand and limited ticket availability at this intimate venue, the ACO invites interested ticket-buyers for this event to register via a ballot. Successful entrants will be notified on 13 April to purchase tickets.


ACO Emerging Artist Showcase
1-2pm The Neilson
The ACO celebrates this new chapter with a dynamic orchestra made up entirely of former Emerging Artists.

In Conversation:
Music and creativity with Jane Campion, Frances Rings and Ben Quilty
2.30-3.30pm Belgiorno Room
Three leading creatives explore the place of music in their life and work. Presented in partnership between the ACO and The Wheeler Centre.

Grigoryan Brothers
4.30-5.30pm Rehearsal Room
The ACO presents virtuoso guitarists Slava and Leonard Grigoryan in their only Sydney performance together in 2022.

Music in Time Part One:
Hildegard to Tchaikovsky
6-7pm The Neilson
Join Richard Tognetti and the ACO for a two-part panoramic adventure spanning centuries of music.

Omar Musa & Friends
9-10pm The Neilson
Achieving ground-breaking success as a rapper, poet, author, visual artist and more, Omar Musa joins the celebrations for an electrifying performance that combines storytelling, poetry, music and political commentary with striking visuals and special guests.


ACO Family Day
10am-1pm Rehearsal Room &
Belgiorno Room
The ACO's youngest audiences are invited to join in the Pier 2/3 festivities at this fun-filled morning of engaging musical activities.

The Song Company
1.30-2.45pm The Neilson
The ACO presents The Song Company, who will perform a sublime program including Antoine Brumel's colossal Earthquake Mass.

In Conversation:
Inside the Pier with architect
Peter Tonkin and Margaret Throsby
3-3.45pm Belgiorno Room
National treasure Margaret Throsby sits down with Peter Tonkin, the architect behind the spectacular Pier 2/3 redevelopment, to unpack the fascinating story behind Pier 2/3 and the multi-decade journey to its renewal.

Genevieve Lacey & Katherine Tonkin: All the Hemispheres
4.30-5.30pm Rehearsal Room
Famed recorder player Genevieve Lacey joins actor Katherine Tonkin (pictured above) for a performance that weaves poetic texts and tunes into a quiet incantation.

Music in Time Part Two:
Mahler to Now
6-7pm The Neilson
Join Richard Tognetti and the ACO for a two-part panoramic adventure spanning centuries of music.

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