Australian Chamber Orchestra

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The Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO) was founded by cellist John Painter in 1975.[1] Richard Tognetti was appointed Lead Violin in 1989 and subsequently appointed Artistic Director.[1]

As well as frequent Australian tours, the Sydney-based Australian Chamber Orchestra often tours Asia, Europe and the US, including regular performances at London's Wigmore Hall, New York's Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, Vienna's Musikverein and Washington's Kennedy Center.[2]

Recordings by Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra of J.S. Bach won three consecutive ARIA Awards.[3] In 2014 an album of the orchestra, featuring the American soprano Dawn Upshaw as soloist, won three Grammy Awards.[4] The orchestra appears in the films Musical Renegades[5] and Musica Surfica[6] and the television series Classical Destinations series two.[7]

In 2005, ACO2, a second ensemble combining emerging artists and Australian Chamber Orchestra musicians was formed as a training and regional touring orchestra.[8]

Richard Tognetti performs on a 1743 Guarneri del Gesù violin,[9] on loan from an anonymous benefactor. Principal Cello Timo-Veikko Valve performs on a 1729 Giuseppe Guarneri Filius Andreae cello,[10] on loan from Peter Weiss.[11] Principal Second Violin Helena Rathbone plays a 1759 J.B. Guadagnini violin on loan from the Commonwealth Bank Group.[12] Assistant Leader Satu Vänskä plays a 1728 Stradivarius violin, owned by the Australian Chamber Orchestra Instrument Fund.[11]

In 2021, the Orchestra was described as Extremely Online.[13]


  1. ^ a b Verghis, Sharon, "Bach with more bite pays off" Archived 2 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine Sydney Morning Herald, 2 September 2005.
  2. ^ Australian Chamber Orchestra, official website, International Touring Countries Archived 11 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ ARIA Awards, Richard Tognetti[permanent dead link], ARIA Awards 2008, History: Winners by Artist.
  4. ^ Limelight Magazine, Classical Grammy Awards 2014 Archived 18 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine, 27 January 2014.
  5. ^ Music Australia, Musical renegades (videorecording) : Australian Chamber Orchestra[permanent dead link], National Library of Australia, 12 September 2005.
  6. ^ Great Southern Communications, Musica Surfica Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Classical Destinations Archived 26 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine, SBS, July 2009.
  8. ^ Lahey, Vanessa, The Fiddlers | ACO2[permanent dead link], Australian Stage Online, 11 July 2009.
  9. ^ Iaccarino, Clara, "Joy at $10m violin gift in land of beer and cricket" Archived 4 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine Sydney Morning Herald, 31 January 2007.
  10. ^ Nunn, Louise, "Diva and the $1m cello" Archived 22 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Adelaide Now, 15 August 2007.
  11. ^ a b Morgan, Joyce (2 June 2011). "Violinist revs up ACO's latest million-dollar baby". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  12. ^ Commonwealth Bank Group, Community Partnerships Archived 26 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "The Australian Chamber Orchestra is Extremely Online".

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