The Australian Chamber Orchestra has just wrapped up its second international tour for 2014, performing nine concerts in Ireland, the UK and Europe over 14 days during the first two weeks of October.
At its sold-out concert in Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the ACO’s general manager, Timothy Calnin said, ‘As soon as the symphony [Haydn 83] reached its close, the entire audience rose as one to give a thunderous standing ovation which would not subside without an encore’.
Its world premiere of Water, written for the ACO by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, met with a five-star review fromThe Telegraph, calling the ACO ‘the best chamber orchestra on earth’.
In response to its Dublin concert at the National Concert Hall,Bachtracksaid: ‘The last movement was electrifying and the bravura of the final flourish brought the concert to a close and the audience to its feet.’
The ACO has given 22 concerts in London over the last three and a half decades. This one, at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, featured Jonny Greenwood himself, playing tanbura.
Audience members included long-time fans Kathy Lette and Lizzie Spender, as well as ‘plenty of Londoners hearing the ACO for the first time’, according to the ACO’s tour blog.
The orchestra also dropped into Paris to discuss future performance options, as well as playing a private concert at an event hosted by Australia’s newly arrived Ambassador to the French Republic, Stephen Brady, who was just three days into the post.
The ACO’s long-standing supporter Servcorp sponsors the event ‘which not only enables our new man in Paris to offer hospitality to a huge cohort of UNESCO and OECD ambassadors and senior officials from the French government, but provides the ACO with the chance to perform for a number of significant figures of the musical and artistic circles of Paris’, according to Calnin.
The full tour took in Amsterdam, Dublin, London, Birmingham, Luxembourg, Frankfurt, Cologne and Vienna.
The Australian Ballet has also been travelling, kicking off its 33rd international tour in Ls Angeles at The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on 9 October withSwan Lake, before travelling to Berkeley, at Cal Performances’ Zellerbach Hall and, simultaneously, the world premiere ofOstinato, a new work from resident choreographer Tim Harbour in New York on 16 October.
It’s a major enterprise, involving a touring party of 100 people, including dancers, wardrobe, medical, music and technical staff, as well as four 40-foot-high shipping containers loaded with more than 300 costumes, 250 pairs of pointe shoes, props, sets, make-up and medical supplies making the 26,000 km round trip by sea.
The Orange County Register review said, ‘Enough cannot be said about the unique visceral stamp of this company: weighty and momentous movement attack, deliriously seamless partnering, serious acting chops from all.’
In LA there was a complete and spontaneous standing ovation for the dancers, Music Director/Chief Conductor, Nicolette Fraillon, and renowned choreographer, Graeme Murphy.
The post-performance party was attended by patrons, local VIPs, the Australian Consul General in Los Angeles and representatives of The Australian Ballet's tour sponsors, News Corp and Qantas.