Skip to main content

What's On

 

Adelaide Town Hall Tours

Jan 1, 2019 - Jan 1, 2029 10am

Go on a fascinating tour of the building guided by City of Adelaide's passionate and knowledgeable volunteers.

Learn about the building's architecture, world famous organ, history, and Colonel William Light: British military officer and the first Surveyor-General of the Colony of South Australia.

Intimate Bach

Oct 29, 2019

Bach holds a special place in the heart of every ACO musician. In this program, the ACO explore his genius with an impressive line-up featuring Richard Tognetti, Erin Helyard, Brett Dean and ACO Principal Cello, Timo-Veikko Valve.

Richard Tognetti’s solo violin opens the program. Its pure, captivating tone sets the scene before giving way to the vibrant lyricism of the Sonata in A major for violin and harpsichord. A favourite of Richard’s and audiences alike, his recording of the complete Bach Sonatas for violin and harpsichord won an ARIA Award for Best Classical Album.

Brett Dean features as both composer and performer in this program. Commissioned by the ACO and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, his Approach (Prelude to a Canon), was written as a prologue to Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No.6, leading directly into what he calls the “close, contrapuntal companionship” of the voices in Bach.

Bach’s inventive Brandenburg Concertos are one of his many crowning achievements. The Sixth Concerto is the most intimate of all and a striking and elegant finale to the famous suite.

Adelaide Symphony Orchestra presents Zukerman’s Elgar

Oct 31, 2019 - Nov 2, 2019 Thu 31 Oct, 11:30am, Fri 1 Nov, 8:00pm, Sat 2 Nov, 6:30pm

Pinchas Zukerman - Director/Violin

Beethoven - Egmont: Overture 
Mozart - Violin Concerto No.5 'Turkish' 
Elgar - Enigma Variations

Now, this is music with personality! But whose is it? Elgar’s Enigma Variations are inspired by real people, friends of the composer – a diverse company whose portraits come alive each time they are performed. Pinchas Zukerman is an ideal host, generous and gregarious, bringing them all together for a convivial evening with us.

Zukerman’s own chance to shine comes in the assured elegance and seemingly endless melody of Mozart’s Fifth Violin Concerto. But Mozart’s mercurial temperament also shows through – look out for playful digressions in the rondo!

Enjoy Beethoven’s ‘Egmont’ Overture as a sort of aperitif or antipasto before all these guests arrive!

Skride Piano Quartet

Nov 7, 2019 7:30 pm

A new classical supergroup of four leading European soloists, the Skride Piano Quartet is sweeping through the northern hemisphere like a breath of fresh air – and is now bringing its dazzling energy to Australia.

Sisters, soloists and regular duo partners, Baiba and Lauma Skride sought out two of their favourite chamber music colleagues in Lise Berthaud and Julian Steckel.

Piano quartets are less often heard than piano trios, but the simple addition of a rich-toned viola seems to inspire composers to create music of outstanding lyricism. Together these stunning virtuosi play with a palpable sense of joy, mutual respect and endless invention.

Baiba Skride violin
Lise Berthaud viola
Julian Steckel cello
Lauma Skride piano 

Program:
BEETHOVEN Piano Quartet no 1 in E-flat major, WoO 36
Graeme KOEHNE New Work* (World Premiere)
BRAHMS Piano Quartet no 1 in G minor, op 25

*Commissioned for Musica Viva

Brahms & Dvořák

Nov 12, 2019

The final concert in the ACO's National Tour Season is a big, exuberant celebration. They open with the Australian Premiere of American composer Andrew Norman’s Gran Turismo, revving up for a showdown by two of the most important names in the romantic era.

Johannes Brahms and Antonín Dvořák were close friends, spiritually as well as professionally. Brahms embraced his rich Germanic music tradition, while Dvořák was carving out a new sound, rooted in the music of his own homeland. Brahms admired the young composer’s dazzling melodic and rhythmic skills and championed his work on an international scale.

Richard Tognetti and Principal Cello Timo-Veikko Valve perform Brahms’s Double Concerto, the composer’s last orchestral work. Brahms’s aim in combining the two solo instruments was to create a deeply sonorous and wide-ranging string sound. Dvořáks Symphony No.8 expresses a kaleidoscope of emotions and manifests the composer’s love of nature and Czech folk music. Pushing the very concept of a “chamber orchestra” to even greater heights, it’s an explosive finale to our 2019 Season.

Adelaide Symphony Orchestra presents Magical Tchaikovsky

Nov 29, 2019 - Nov 30, 2019 Fri 29 Nov, 8:00pm, Sat 30 Nov, 6:30pm

Mark Wigglesworth - Conductor 
Mark Gaydon - Bassoon 
Dean Newcomb - Clarinet 
Adrian Uren - Horn

Wagner - Die Feen: Overture 
Mozart - Sinfonia Concertante 
Tchaikovsky - 'The Nutcracker' Act II

A fairy-tale feast… with plenty of dessert!

For starters, a charming ‘Fairy Overture’ dished up by the 20-year-old Wagner. Then four friends, principal wind players of the ASO, share the delights of a Sinfonia Concertante attributed (partly because it’s so good) to Mozart. A lively dinner conversation in cheerful company…

Act Two of The Nutcracker takes place in the Kingdom of Sweets, where there are dances in celebration of chocolate, tea and coffee. With favourites such as ‘Waltz of the Flowers’ and ‘Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy’, Tchaikovsky’s memorable score is magic for the ears. If there’s an aural equivalent of a sweet tooth, this is the fix, and it’s the perfect way to leap into December!

Arvo Pärt & Shostakovich

Mar 31, 2020 7PM

Australian Chamber Orchestra

Joy and creativity can’t be held down forever, so even in the darkest decades of cruel oppression that spread from Soviet Russia through Eastern Europe in the 20th century, music bloomed and imaginations flew. Humour, black as some of it may have been, also thrived. This was life, as the Russians like to say, “laughing through tears”.

Estonian Arvo Pärt is one of the most performed and influential living composers. In his deeply loved work Tabula Rasa, for two violins, prepared piano and orchestra, he extends “small steps of tolerance to the world”, seeking spirituality and independence through silence and harmony.

Meanwhile, within Russia, Shostakovich and Prokofiev represented two still hotly contested strands: the supposed collaborators and the resisters. Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony in C minor, a signature piece for the virtuosic ACO, was a lament for victims of fascism and war, but also an act of self-reflection whose movements evolve from elegy and brutal force into acceptance and farewell.

Resistance will be whispered, literally, during Saariaho’s Nymphéa: Misterioso. The short piece by the Finnish composer, whose country has always had a complicated and delicate relationship with its large neighbour, Russia, includes a poem by the great 20th-century Russian poet, Arseny Tarkovsky, which will be whispered by members of the Orchestra.

Richard Tognetti - Director & Violin
Satu Vänskä - Violin,
Australian Chamber Orchestra

KILAR Orawa 8′
ARVO PÄRT Tabula Rasa 26′
PROKOFIEV Sonata for Solo Violin in D major* 13′
KAIJA SAARIAHO Nymphéa: Misterioso (arr. strings) – Australian Premiere 3′
SHOSTAKOVICH Chamber Symphony (arr. Barshai) 23′ 

Music to Heal

May 12, 2020 7:30pm

Australian Chamber Orchestra

Music’s ability to lift us from despair or deep pain, or at least express our response to spiritual and physical wellness, are neither new nor new age, as 12th-century composer and healer Hildegard von Bingen well understood.

English violinist Hugo Ticciati, who will direct this program of meditative but emotionally charged music in his Australian debut, experienced these qualities and “the interconnectedness of everything” as he sought ways to alleviate physical pain so severe it would force him to stop playing.

Exploring such responses to life-changing upheavals, Latvian composer Peˉ teris Vasks’ neo-spiritual Lonely Angel was written as a meditation on Mother Earth and redemption. Beethoven’s String Quartet in A minor, a hymn of thanksgiving that begins as a slow prayer before becoming jubilant and ecstatic, emerged from Beethoven’s recovery from a serious illness.

An even greater blow to Beethoven, the realisation of inevitable early deafness, saw his utter despair and futility expressed in the unsent letter of farewell known as the Heiligenstadt Testament. Australian Brett Dean’s Testament draws inspiration from this writing, capturing the fluctuations of hesitancy and passion, and the search for clarity, for healing, in this “wretched despair”.

Hugo Ticciati - Guest Director & Violin
Australian Chamber Orchestra

TAVENER Mother of God, Here I Stand (arr. strings) 3′
PHILIP GLASS Company for string orchestra 8′
MAX RICHTER On the Nature of Daylight – Australian Premiere 6′
TERRY RILEY Half-Wolf Dances Mad in Moonlight – Australian Premiere 8′
PĒTERIS VASKS Lonely Angel: Meditation for violin and string orchestra 13′
BRETT DEAN Testament (arr. strings) 15′
HILDEGARD Vos flores rosarum (arr. strings) 5′
BEETHOVEN
String Quartet in A minor: III. Holy song of thanksgiving of a convalescent to the Deity, in the Lydian mode. Molto adagio – Andante (arr. strings) 17′ 

The Four Seasons and Beyond

Jun 23, 2020 7:30pm

Australian Chamber Orchestra

2020 marks Richard Tognetti’s 30th year as the ACO’s Artistic Director. In celebration of his versatility and contribution to the Orchestra as arranger, composer, champion of new works and lost gems, and as a source of inspiration for new music, this program is a chance to look to the future as much as the past.
From the past is Tognetti’s acclaimed arrangement of Haas’s From The Monkey Mountains, a vivid tone poem composed in a Nazi ghetto that imagines a carefree life beyond the walls where the “rhythm of the open countryside and birdsong… the warm song of the human heart” resonate.

Looking to the future is the world premiere of a new work for electric violin by Samuel Adams, 33-year-old composer of acoustic and electroacoustic music and son of 20th century giant John Adams, written especially for Tognetti’s 30th anniversary with the Orchestra.

Tognetti’s progressive edge is highlighted in his own composition, Beyond, with vocals provided by the ACO’s Satu Vänskä, and in a new approach to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, long a favourite of the Orchestra and beloved of ACO audiences, now channelled through Scottish composer and electronica explorer Anna Meredith.

In its Australian premiere, Meredith’s ANNO intertwines Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with new compositions for electronics and string orchestra, moving through the seasons to create one continuous musical year that offers a fresh and invigorated experience of Vivaldi’s masterpiece. Featuring Richard Tognetti as soloist, Meredith herself will join the ACO to perform live electronics for these performances, a reminder of the adventure and imagination that has characterised this Orchestra and its artistic leader for 30 years.

Richard Tognetti - Director, Violin & Electric Violin
Satu Vänskä - Vocals, Anna Meredith- Electronics
Australian Chamber Orchestra

SAMUEL ADAMS New Work for Electric Violin and Strings – World Premiere* 12′
RICHARD TOGNETTI Beyond 4′
HAAS
String Quartet No.2 “From the Monkey Mountains” (arr. Tognetti) 32′
ANNA MEREDITH / VIVALDI ANNO: Four Seasons – Australian Premiere** 51′

Baroque Brilliance

Sep 1, 2020 7:30pm

Australian Chamber Orchestra

Is it possible that all roads lead from La Folia? Probably the oldest known musical theme of European culture, it has resonated through the centuries, from Corelli, Liszt and Beethoven, through to the artists of today.

In what marks the Australian debut of perennially in-demand director Jonathan Cohen, whose packed list of directorships includes The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Arcangelo and Les Violons du Roy, this virtuosic and evocative program may help answer this question as it moves from Vivaldi and Handel to the lesser known but harmonically gifted Francesca Caccini.

Naturally, the family Bach is also prominent. Principal Cello Timo-Veikko Valve is at the helm of CPE Bach’s impassioned Cello Concerto in A major, while the composer’s father, Johann Sebastian, features twice, including his final masterpiece The Art of Fugue, devised not for a patron but as the fruit of his late-in-life focus on pure composition. A world premiere from composer Paul Stanhope will present a modern take on the La Folia theme before Geminiani’s own famed La Folia variations, the Concerto Grosso in D minor.

Jonathan Cohen - Guest Director & Keyboard
Helena Rathbone - Violin
Timo-Veikko Valve - Cello
Australian Chamber Orchestra

LOCATELLI Concerto grosso in E-flat major “Il pianto d’Arianna” 15′
JS BACH The Art of Fugue: Contrapunctus 8 5′
HANDEL Concerto Grosso in A minor 10′
MOZART Fugue in E-flat major (after Bach’s BWV876) 2′
VIVALDI Concerto for Strings in G minor, RV156 6′
JS BACH Die Himmel erzählen die Ehre Gottes: Sinfonia 3′
CPE BACH Cello Concerto in A major 19′
FRANCESCA CACCINI Ciaccona 5′
PAUL STANHOPE Giving Ground – World Premiere* 5′
GEMINIANI Concerto Grosso in D minor “La Folia” 11′