Australian Chamber Orchestra

Chamber Music and Orchestras

Richard Tognetti, Artistic Director


Australian Chamber Orchestra

Internationally renowned for inspired programming and the rapturous response of audiences and critics, the Australian Chamber Orchestra is a product of our country’s vibrant, adventurous and enquiring spirit. In performances around Australia, around the world and on many recordings, the ACO moves hearts and stimulates minds with repertoire spanning six centuries and a vitality and virtuosity unmatched by other ensembles.

The ACO was founded in 1975. Every year, this ensemble presents performances of the highest standard to audiences around the world, including 10,000 subscribers across Australia. The ACO has performed in 343 cities in 37 countries. The ACO’s unique artistic style encompasses not only the masterworks of the classical repertoire, but innovative cross-artform projects and a vigorous commissioning program.

The outstanding Australian musician Richard Tognetti was appointed as Artistic Director and Lead Violin in 1989. Under his inspiring leadership, the ACO has performed as a flexible and versatile ‘ensemble of soloists’, on modern and period instruments, as a small chamber group, a small symphony orchestra, and as an electro-acoustic collective. In a nod to past traditions, only the cellists are seated – the resulting sense of energy and individuality is one of the most commented-upon elements of an ACO concert experience.

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“Richard Tognetti and his group produced playing of fabulous alertness and tight ensemble; if there’s a better chamber orchestra in the world today, I haven’t heard it.”

The Guardian

“The energy and vibe of a rock band with the ability of a crack classical chamber group”

Washington Post

More Reviews

“Richard Tognetti and his badass classical band, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, don’t play New York nearly often enough. But, on the rare occasion that they do come in from Down Under, they leave an indelible mark on the city’s music scene.”

TimeOut New York

“[The ACO] plays everything with raw, high-spirited, rhythmically propulsive energy…Early music doesn’t get much hipper than this”

Los Angeles Times

“For vitality, elegance, playfulness and technical prowess – all the qualities you want in a chamber ensemble, really – it would be hard to top the ACO… Under Richard Tognetti, the group’s artistic director and concertmaster, this crackerjack ensemble plays with the sort of fleet rhythmic control and tonal purity that most chamber groups can only envy.”

San Francisco Chronicle