Five Centuries

This program celebrates five decades of the ACO by traversing five centuries of music. The ACO is unique in the orchestral world in being able to play music from vastly different eras, whether baroque or contemporary, with the same expertise and spark. The ACO literally changes shape on stage as the program develops – from the spatially conceived work for three ensembles by John Luther Adams to the virtuosity of just nine players in Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No.3, and finally the whole orchestra coming together in Fanny Mendelssohn’s hugely virtuosic String Quartet.

This program offers audiences a kaleidoscopic tour through the history of classical music, including great names and some lesser-known composers. It culminates in a brand new work by the American Pulitzer-prize winner John Luther Adams, written in and inspired by the Australian outback, connecting the US and Australia through music in this ACO anniversary year.

HENRY PURCELL Fantasia on One Note

GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL Concerto Grosso in A major, Op.6 No.11



The Lark Ascending

FANNY MENDELSSOHN HENSEL (arr. strings) String Quartet in E-flat major

At the heart of this program stands Tchaikovsky’s soaring Serenade for Strings, a masterpiece that has earned a rightful place as an audience favourite through its irresistible melodies and open-hearted joy.

A different sense of rhapsody is found in the music of Arvo Pärt, whose Fratres is paired with the deeply affecting music of George Walker – dedicated to his grandmother, a formerly enslaved woman.  

Collaborations with composers outside of classical traditions such as Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood and The National’s Bryce Dessner are a distinctive part of the ACO’s DNA, and in this program the music of American singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens brings his trademark sense of humour and revelry.

Meditation, ecstasy and illumination: expect to find it all in this program showcasing the Australian Chamber Orchestra at its very best.

The ACO are uniformly high-octane, arresting, never ordinary.”
– The Australian

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