Australian Chamber Orchestra

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]

In 2014 an album of the orchestra, featuring the American soprano Dawn Upshaw as soloist, won three Grammy Awards.[3] The orchestra appears in the films Musical Renegades[4] and Musica Surfica[5] and the television series Classical Destinations series two.[6]

In 2005, ACO Collective, a second ensemble combining emerging artists and Australian Chamber Orchestra musicians was formed as a training and regional touring orchestra.[7]

The ACO musicians perform on a collection of 11 Golden Age string instruments, including three Stradivarius violins.[8]Richard Tognetti performs on a 1743 Guarneri del Gesù violin,[9] on loan from an anonymous benefactor. Principal Violin Satu Vanska performs on the 1726 Belgiorno Stradivarius on loan from Guido and Michelle Belgiorno-Nettis,[10] Principal Cello Timo-Veikko Valve performs on a 1616 Brothers Amati Cello on loan from the ACO Instrument Fund[11] and Principal Violin Helena Rathbone plays a 1732 Stradivarius violin on loan from an anonymous benefactor.[12]

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

Awards and nominationsEdit

AIR AwardsEdit

The Australian Independent Record Awards (commonly known informally as AIR Awards) is an annual awards night to recognise, promote and celebrate the success of Australia's Independent Music sector.

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
2021 Brahms: Symphonies 3 & 4 Ensemble Offspring - Songbirds (with Richard Tognetti) Best Independent Classical Album or EP Nominated [14][15]
2022 River (with Richard Tognetti) Best Independent Classical Album or EP Nominated [16][17]

ARIA Music AwardsEdit

The ARIA Music Awards is an annual awards ceremony that recognises excellence, innovation, and achievement across all genres of Australian music. They commenced in 1987.

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
1987 Mozart in Delphi Best Classical Album Nominated [18]
1993 Janáček: Kreutzer Sonata for Strings, Barber: Adagio for Strings, Walton: Sonata for Strings (with Richard Tognetti) Won
1994 Mendelssohn: Octet in E Flat for Strings Op. 20 Sinfonia No. 9 in C. Swiss (with Richard Tognetti) Nominated
Symphony Serenades and Suites (with Richard Tognetti) Nominated
1996 Peter Sculthorpe: Music for Strings Won
Spirit Nominated
1997 Il Tramonto - The Sunset Nominated
2000 Beethoven Violin Concerto & Mozart Symphony No. 40 (with Richard Tognetti) Nominated
2004 Musical Renegades Best Original Soundtrack, Cast or Show Album Nominated [19]
2007 Bach Violin Concertos (with Richard Tognetti) Best Classical Album Won [18]
2009 Classical Destinations II Nominated
2010 Mozart Violin Concertos (with Richard Tognetti & Christopher Moore) Nominated
2011 Mozart Violin Concertos Vol 2 (with Richard Tognetti) Nominated
2016 Mozart's Last Symphonies (with Richard Tognetti) Nominated
2017 Mountain (with Richard Tognetti) Best Original Soundtrack, Cast or Show Album Nominated [19]
2019 Heroines (with Richard Tognetti) Best Classical Album Nominated [18]
2022 River (with Richard Tognetti) Best Original Soundtrack or Musical Theatre Cast Album Won [20][21]


  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. ^ Limelight Magazine, Classical Grammy Awards 2014 Archived 18 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine, 27 January 2014.
  4. ^ Music Australia, Musical renegades (videorecording) : Australian Chamber Orchestra[permanent dead link], National Library of Australia, 12 September 2005.
  5. ^ Great Southern Communications, Musica Surfica Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Classical Destinations Archived 26 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine, SBS, July 2009.
  7. ^ Duffy, Martin, [1] 'Sydney Morning Herald', 8 February 2016.
  8. ^ Litson, Jo, [2] 'Limelight', 17 June 2022
  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. ^ Westwood, Matthew, [3], 14 February 2018
  11. ^ Han, Misa, [4]
  12. ^ [5]
  13. ^ "The Australian Chamber Orchestra is Extremely Online".
  14. ^ "Details confirmed for 2021 AIR Awards as nominees announced". The Music. 2 June 2021. Archived from the original on 2 June 2021. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  15. ^ "2021 AIR Awards Winners". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  16. ^ "Nominees Announced For AIR Independent Music Awards 2022". musicfeeds. 1 June 2022. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  17. ^ Tyler Jenke (5 August 2022). "Genesis Owusu Wins Big At The 2022 AIR Awards". MusicFeeds. Retrieved 6 August 2022.
  18. ^ a b c ARIA Award previous winners. "ARIA Awards – Winners by Award". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  19. ^ a b ARIA Award previous winners. "History Best Original Soundtrack, Cast or Show Album". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  20. ^ Lars Brandle (12 October 2022). "Rüfüs Du Sol Leads 2022 ARIA Awards Nominees (Full List)". The Music Network. Retrieved 12 October 2022.
  21. ^ Newstead, Al (24 November 2022). "ARIA Awards 2022 Winners Wrap: Baker Boy Leads First Nations Sweep". Triple J (Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)). Retrieved 25 November 2022.

External linksEdit