LSM Newswire

Monday, March 9, 2009

Richard Tognetti's Australian Chamber Orchestra On Tour April-May 2009

Australian Chamber Orchestra with Violinist Richard Tognetti On Tour April and May 2009

Nine dates Coast-to-Coast Showcase ACO's Trademark Vitality and High Energy Performances

New York, NY ĺ─ý March 6, 2009 ĺ─ý This spring, the Australian Chamber Orchestra under the direction of violinist Richard Tognetti embarks on a nine city tour of the United States. With stops in Los Angeles at The Walt Disney Concert Hall, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Kansas City, Berkeley, Denver, Iowa, Princeton and New York at Carnegie Hall, this is one of the most ambitious US tours ever undertaken by the group, known as Australiaĺ─˘s most dynamic and acclaimed musical ensemble.

For this tour, the ACO will perform works of Haydn, Vivaldi, Haas, Rameau and American premiere performances of Footwork by Roger Smalley. Concerts in Santa Barbara, Berkeley, Denver and New York will also feature a performance of Handel arias with countertenor Andreas Scholl. In San Diego, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Iowa and New Jersey, pianist Paul Lewis joins the ACO for Mozartĺ─˘s Piano Concerto No. 12 (K. 414). Complete program details are listed below.

Founded in 1975, the Australian Chamber Orchestra is a product of the countryĺ─˘s vibrant, adventurous and inquiring spirit. Under the visionary leadership of violinist Richard Tognetti who celebrates his 20th year with the ensemble this season, these brilliant virtuosos are engaged with music at the highest level: seventeen minds ĺ─˙thinking and breathing as oneĺ─¨ (The Times). In performances around Australia, around the world and on many recordings, the ACO performs repertoire spanning four centuries with ĺ─˙unfailing virtuosity and unanimity of spiritĺ─¨ (New York Times) unmatched by other ensembles. The ACOĺ─˘s unique artistic style encompasses not only the masterworks of the classical repertoire, but innovative cross-artform projects and a vigorous commissioning program.

The outstanding Australian musician Richard Tognetti, ĺ─˙one of the most characterful, incisive and impassioned violinists to be heard todayĺ─¨ (Telegraph) is considered a National Living Treasure in Australia. He was appointed Artistic Director and Lead Violin of the Australian Chamber Orchestra in 1989. Tognetti is a noted soloist, composer, arranger, educator and an accomplished surfer (his documentary about the connections between music and surfing Musica Surfica was recently awarded best feature at the New York Surf Film Festival and was honored at the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival). While maintaining the highest artistic standards, Richard Tognetti has broadened the audience for classical music through collaborations with many non-classical entertainers like Barry Humphries (Dame Edna Everage) and Neil Finn (from Crowded House). For the 2003 film Master and Commander, Tognetti co-composed the soundtrack, performed as a soloist on the best-selling recording, and also taught Russell Crowe to play the violin for the film. Richard Tognetti plays a Guarneri Violin worth more than $10 Million that was lent to him by an anonymous donor.

Under Richard Tognettiĺ─˘s inspiring leadership, the ACO has performed as a flexible and versatile ĺ─˛ensemble of soloistsĺ─˘, on modern and period instruments, as a small chamber group, a small symphony orchestra, and as an electro-acoustic collective. In a nod to past traditions, only the cellists are seated ĺ─ý the resulting sense of energy and individuality is one of the most commented-upon elements of an ACO concert experience.

For more information about the Australian Chamber Orchestra, visit the website at

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Opera Australia: Triumphant Farewell for John Pringle

On Friday 24 October 2008 John Pringle AM will give his final performance with Opera Australia. To mark the occasion and celebrate his remarkable career, the cast and chorus of The Makropulos Secret will gather on the Sydney Opera House stage after the performance to see him presented with the Opera Australia Trophy.

John Pringle is currently appearing in the role of Prus in Janacek's The Makropulos Secret, has been with Australia's national opera company for over forty years. He graduated from Melbourne University as a pharmacist but at the age of 28 music took over. His first appearance with the Australian Opera, as it was then, was in Die Fledermaus at the Princess Theatre in Melbourne in 1967, and in 1973 he was part of the Company's historic first season at the Sydney Opera House singing the role of Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro.

Over the last four decades John Pringle has thrilled audiences on stages in Australia, Europe and the US. The great Mozart roles have dominated his career, with appearances as Figaro, Don Giovanni, Papageno, Guglielmo, Don Alfonso and, in his final Melbourne performances in November last year, Leporello.

Beyond Mozart, he has also made his mark singing the great baritone roles of Rossini, Tchaikovsky, Verdi, Puccini, Janacek, Shostakovich, Britten and Berg. On stage he has died, committed murders, cracked jokes and kissed countless divas from Dame Joan Sutherland and Sumi Jo to Emma Matthews. He has appeared with operatic heroes such as Tito Gobbi, and even spent eight months learning Russian to sing the title role of Eugene Onegin.

One of the many highlights of his career came just five years ago, when Simone Young asked him to take on the role of Doctor Schon / Jack the Ripper in Berg's Lulu. "It was the most difficult part I'd ever learned" says Pringle; "performing it was like walking a tightrope over a pit of venomous snakes. But the high you felt afterwardsĺ─Â Who needs drugs?"

In receiving the Opera Australia Trophy John Pringle joins an illustrious band of artists. The Trophy is a magnificent silver bowl, commissioned from master craftsman David Cruikshank, and past recipients include Dame Joan Sutherland, Moffatt Oxenbould, Donald Shanks and Joan Carden. Anson Austin, also a recipient of the trophy, will make the presentation with Adrian Collette, Chief Executive of Opera Australia.

Adrian Collette comments: "John Pringle is one of the artists on which our company has been built. He has been there almost from the beginning and has stuck with us through thick and thin, a great actor, a magnificent singer and, above all, a real ensemble player loved and admired by colleagues and audiences alike."

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