Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra return for their second Barbican season in October 2019


Marking the mid-point of the ACO’s three-year residency as International Associate Ensemble at Milton Court, Artistic Director, Richard Tognetti and the ACO have today announced the 2019 season as a highlight of the Barbican Centre’s classical programme for the year. The concerts will take place 3-5 October 2019.

Following a sell-out 2018 residency, this year’s programmes are a typically eclectic and bold mix, embodying Tognetti and the ACO’s signature, boundary pushing twist on the concept of what a ‘chamber orchestra’ is back to the London stage. Once again, ACO will collaborate with an inspiring and diverse collection of artists; presenting work which straddles art forms and sheds new light on the great music of the past and present. 

Richard Tognetti said:

Our residency with Milton Court and close relationship with the Barbican Centre has allowed us to build a relationship with London like never before. In 2018 we were overwhelmed by audience responses to our season which was equally thrilling for us as performers. It felt like a festival in both its intensity and the creation of a shared experience. I can’t wait to recreate this again in October with this specially selected programme which we are performing in the UK for the first time”  

Opening the 2019 programme, the Australian Chamber Orchestra will perform Canadian conductor Bernard Labadie’s string orchestra arrangement of JS Bach’s iconic Goldberg Variations (3 October). The Goldberg Variations has been heralded as one of the greatest pieces of music ever conceived with much written on the obsessive hold the hypnotic music often casts over performers and listeners alike. Bach’s ability to veil music that is fiendishly complex behind a deceptively simple melodic line is unparalleled. This programme marks the latest in the ACO’s canon of innovative and insightful performances of Bach’s music. 

The ACO, Richard Tognetti and acclaimed Australian artist and photographer Bill Henson will revisit their achingly beautiful, ground-breaking musical and visual feast, Luminous (4 October)First performed in 2005, Henson’s haunting, dramatic photography will remain the visual focus as the ACO are joined on stage by Israeli-Australian singer-songwriter Lior on vocals. The revival will feature music from R.E.M., Benjamin Britten and Piazzolla, with the centrepiece being Peteris Vasks’ sublime violin concerto, Distant Light performed by Richard Tognetti.


3rd October - Goldberg Variations

4th October - Luminous

5th October - Lark Ascending

Photo: Bill Henson

Photo: Bill Henson

David Taylor