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Australia now

Australian Chamber Orchestra: celebrating the internationally renowned, fresh and dynamic sound of the ACO in Japan

Musicians playing string instruments.
Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Photo by Nic Walker

The ACO, one of the world's leading chamber orchestras, toured Japan as a musical highlight of the Australia now 2018 program.

Over two nights at Tokyo's prestigious Yomiuri Otemachi Hall, the ACO's Richard Tognetti and guests artists James and Joseph Tawadros, brought their own blend of musical alchemy to a program exploring musical connections between the East and the West. Japanese audiences experienced a special mix of beloved classics and new music, including JS Bach (The Musical Offering), Bartok (Divertimento), Pēteris Vasks (Vox Amoris), and Vivaldi's masterpiece, the Four Seasons, interspersed with original works by the award-winning, Egyptian-Australian oud player, Joseph Tawadros.

With over 1,000 people in attendance, audiences were left with a memorable impression of Australia's diverse talent and creativity.

ACO violinist, Aiko Goto, facilitated a music education exchange at her former school, the Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo. Joined by principal violinist Helena Rathbone, principal cellist Timo-Veikko Valve and principal double bassist Maxime Bibeau, the group held workshops for local students, allowing them to play and learn from some of Australia's finest musicians.

A member of the ACO since 1998, Aiko was awarded a Japanese Foreign Minister's Commendation in 2016 for her significant contribution to the Japan-Australia Friendship.

The ACO's Special Opening Concerts for Australia now 2018 were supported through the Australia-Japan Foundation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Woman with violin
ACO Principal Violin Helena Rathbone. Photo by Nic Walker.
Man with cello
ACO Principal Cello Timo-Veikko Valve. Photo by Nic Walker.
Woman playing violin
ACO violinist Aiko Goto. Photo by Nic Walker.
Last Updated: 18 July 2018
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