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Australian Chamber Orchestra brings its energy to Emory on April 12

By Jessica Cook | Emory Report | April 5, 2012

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Emory's Schwartz Center for Performing Arts welcomes the energetic Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO) on Thursday, April 12 at 8 p.m. Photo by Jon Frank.

Emory's Schwartz Center for Performing Arts welcomes the energetic Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO) on Thursday, April 12 at 8 p.m. The concert represents the first stop on their North American tour, and the first time the ensemble has played in Georgia in five years.

Joining the ACO will be New Zealand opera star Teddy Tahu Rhodes. The Emory program features Mahler, Shostakovich and modern composers such as Robert Saxton. Rhodes will perform Beethoven's "An die ferne Geliebte" and Richard Rodney Bennett's "Songs Before Sleep," a work of six poems taken from the Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes.

A common denominator among ACO's performances is their high energy and thrilling stage presence that engages critics and audiences. The ACO has performed as a flexible and versatile "ensemble of soloists," on modern and period instruments, as a small chamber group, a small symphony orchestra, and as an electro-acoustic collective. Only the cellists are seated-the resulting sense of power and individuality is one of the most commented-upon elements of an ACO concert experience. The Washington Post noted that the ACO has "the energy and vibe of a rock band with the ability of a crack classical chamber group."

Founded in 1975, the ACO currently performs under the direction of violinist, conductor and composer Richard Tognetti. Tognetti has performed with and directed major orchestras around the world; and has collaborated with artists across genres and styles, such as Dawn Upshaw—a guest artist for several upcoming ACO concerts and who will be performing at the Schwartz Center on April 6.

Tognetti has also composed several soundtracks, and co-created and starred in the 2008 documentary film "Musica Surfica," which combines his passions for music and surfing.

The April 12 concert is part of the Flora Glenn Candler Concert Series. Event details at arts.emory.edu or 404-727-5050.