Australian Chamber Orchestra


Sunday, April 16, 2023
2:30 PM
Bing Concert Hall


About the Orchestra

The Australian Chamber Orchestra lives and breathes music, making waves around the world for its explosive performances and brave interpretations. Steeped in history but always looking to the future, ACO programs embrace celebrated classics alongside new commissions, and adventurous cross-artform collaborations.

Led by Artistic Director Richard Tognetti since 1990, the ACO performs more than 100 concerts each year. Whether performing in Manhattan, New York, or Wollongong, NSW, the ACO is unwavering in its commitment to creating transformative musical experiences.

The Orchestra regularly collaborates with artists and musicians who share its ideology: from Emmanuel Pahud, Steven Isserlis, Dawn Upshaw, Olli Mustonen, Brett Dean and Ivry Gitlis, to Neil Finn, Jonny Greenwood, Barry Humphries and Meow Meow; to visual artists and film makers such as Bill Henson, Shaun Tan, Jon Frank, and Jennifer Peedom, who have co-created unique, hybrid productions for which the ACO has become renowned.

In addition to its national and international touring schedule, the Orchestra has an active recording program across CD, vinyl and digital formats. Recent releases include Water | Night Music, the first Australian-produced classical vinyl for two decades, and the soundtracks to the acclaimed cinematic collaborations, Mountain and River.

In 2020 the ACO launched its inaugural digital subscription ‘ACO StudioCasts’, a critically acclaimed award-winning season of cinematic and immersive concert films.


Richard Tognetti, Director & Electric Violin
William Barton, Didgeridoo, Guitar & Vocals
Australian Chamber Orchestra

Musicians on Stage

Richard TognettiDirector and Lead Violin
Richard plays the 1743 ‘Carrodus’ Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu violin kindly on loan from an anonymous Australian private benefactor.
His Chair is sponsored by Peter McMullin AM & Ruth McMullin, Louise Myer & Martyn Myer AO, and Andrew & Andrea Roberts.

William Barton, Didgeridoo, Guitar and Vocals

Helena Rathbone, Principal Violin
Helena plays the 1732 ‘ex-Dollfus’ Stradivarius violin kindly on loan from anonymous Australian private benefactors.
Her Chair is sponsored by Margaret Gibbs & Rodney Cameron.

Satu Vänskä, Principal Violin
Satu plays the 1726 ‘Belgiorno’ Stradivarius violin kindly on loan from Guido Belgiorno-Nettis AM & Michelle Belgiorno-Nettis.
Her Chair is sponsored by David Thomas AM

Aiko Goto, Violin
Aiko plays her own French violin by Jean-Baptiste Villaume.
Her Chair is sponsored by Anthony & Sharon Lee Foundation.

Mark Ingwersen, Violin
Mark plays a 1728/29 Stradivarius violin on loan from the ACO Instrument Fund.
His Chair is sponsored by Prof Judyth Sachs & Julie Steiner AM.

Ilya Isakovich, Violin
Ilya plays a 1590 Brothers Amati violin on loan from the ACO Instrument Fund.
His Chair is sponsored by Meg Meldrum.

Liisa Pallandi, Violin
Liisa plays a 1759 Giovanni Battista Guadagnini violin on loan from the ACO.
Her Chair is sponsored by the Melbourne Medical Syndicate.

Ike See, Violin
Ike plays his own 2021 Zygmuntowicz violin.
His Chair is sponsored by Ian Lansdown & Tricia Bell.

Tim Yu #, Violin
Tim plays an 1800 violin by Raffaele & Antonio Gagliano.

Anna Da Silva Chen #, Violin
Anna plays a 1922 violin by Pierre Hel.

Stefanie Farrands, Principal Viola
Stefanie plays her own 2016 viola made by Ragnar Hayn in Berlin.
Her Chair is sponsored by peckvonhartel architects.

Elizabeth Woolnough, Viola
Elizabeth plays her own 1968 Parisian viola by Pierre M. Audinot.
Her Chair is sponsored by Terry Campbell AO & Christine Campbell.

Carl Lee #, Viola
Carl plays a Bernd Hiller viola from Marcneukirchen, Germany.

Melissa Barnard, Cello
Melissa plays a cello by Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume made in 1846.
Her Chair is sponsored by Jason & Alexandra Wenderoth.

Julian Thompson, Cello
Julian plays a 1729 Giuseppe Guarneri filius Andrea cello with elements of the instrument crafted by his son, Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu, kindly donated to the ACO by the late Peter Weiss AO.
His Chair is sponsored by the Grist & Stewart Families.

Maxime Bibeau, Principal Bass
Max plays a 2022 bass made by Mario Lamarre in Montreal.
His Chair is sponsored by Darin Cooper Foundation.


# Guest Musicians


Aheym (Homeward)

Didge Fusion


Andante for Strings; Allegro possibile

Echo Transcriptions* (US Premiere)



(arr. Richard Tognetti) String Quartet No.2, Op.7 ‘From the Monkey Mountains’


* Commissioned by the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Stanford Live.

Season Sponsor: 

Media Sponsor:

PROGRAM SUBJECT TO CHANGE. Please be considerate of others and turn off all phones, pagers, and watch alarms. Photography and recording of any kind are not permitted. Thank you.



Richard Tognetti is Artistic Director of the Australian Chamber Orchestra. He has established an international reputation for his compelling performances and artistic individualism.

Richard began his studies in his hometown of Wollongong with William Primrose, then with Alice Waten at the Sydney Conservatorium, and Igor Ozim at the Bern Conservatory, where he was awarded the Tschumi Prize as the top graduate soloist in 1989. Later that year he led several performances of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and that November was appointed as the Orchestra’s lead violin and, subsequently, Artistic Director.

Richard performs on period, modern and electric instruments and his numerous arrangements, compositions and transcriptions have expanded the chamber orchestra repertoire and been performed throughout the world. As director or soloist, he has appeared with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Academy of Ancient Music, Slovene Philharmonic Orchestra, Handel & Haydn Society (Boston), Hong Kong Philharmonic, Camerata Salzburg, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Nordic Chamber Orchestra and all the major Australian symphony orchestras, most recently as soloist and director with the Melbourne and Tasmanian symphony orchestras.

Richard also performed the Australian premieres of Ligeti’s Violin Concerto and Lutosławski’s Partita. He was appointed the Barbican Centre’s first Artist-in-Residence at Milton Court Concert Hall in London in 2016. Richard created the Huntington Festival in Mudgee, New South Wales and was Artistic Director of the Festival Maribor in Slovenia from 2008 to 2015.

Richard was the co-composer of the score for Peter Weir’s Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, starring Russell Crowe; he co-composed the soundtrack to Tom Carroll’s surf film Storm Surfers; and created The Red Tree, inspired by Shaun Tan’s book. He also created the documentary film Musica Surfica, as well as The Glide, The Reef and The Crowd & I. Richard collaborated with Director Jennifer Peedom and Stranger Than Fiction to create the films Mountain and River for the ACO, the former of which went on to become the highest-grossing homegrown documentary in Australian cinemas ever following its release.

Richard was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2010. He holds honorary doctorates from three Australian universities and was made a National Living Treasure in 1999. He performs on the 1743 ‘Carrodus’ Guarneri del Gesù violin, lent to him by an anonymous Australian private benefactor.

Featured Artist

William Barton is Australia’s leading didgeridoo player as well as a composer, instrumentalist and vocalist.

William first learnt the instrument from his uncle, Arthur Peterson, an elder of the Wannyi, Lardil and Kalkadunga people and was working from an early age with traditional dance groups and fusion/rock jazz bands, orchestras, string quartets, and mixed ensembles.

Throughout his diverse career William has forged a path in the classical musical world, from the London, Berlin and Bremer Philharmonic Orchestras to historic events at Westminster Abbey for Commonwealth Day 2019, at Anzac Cove in Gallipoli and for the Beijing Olympics.

William holds honorary doctorates from both Griffith University and the University of Sydney, has released five albums on the ABC Classic label including HEARTLAND, released in 2022 with Véronique Serret and the words of William’s mother, Aunty Delmae Barton. William has been developing a new musical language, which is epitomised in this record.

William was named Queensland Australian of the Year for 2023, putting him in the running for Australian of the Year 2023. In 2022 he was recognised for his work with the Australian Chamber Orchestra for the soundtrack from the film “River”, winning two Screen Music Awards, an ARIA award and an AACTA award.

His other awards include the prestigious Don Banks Music Award from the Australia Council in 2021, Winner of Best Original Score for a Mainstage Production at the 2018 Sydney Theatre Awards and Winner of Best Classical Album with an ARIA for Birdsong At Dusk in 2012.

With his prodigious musicality and building on his Kalkadunga heritage, William has vastly expanded the horizons of the didgeridoo.



Upcoming Events


Regina Carter
Gone in a Phrase of Air

Fri, April 21 at 7:30 PM | Bing Concert Hall

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Vân-Ánh Vanessa Võ
Sun, April 23 at 4:00 PM | Bing Concert Hall

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