It’s chamber orchestras at 20 paces. Both the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra have recently announced their programs for 2015; they want your business. Both present multiple series of concerts in Melbourne, Sydney and other centres. They aren’t dueling but they are in peak form, competing at the highest level.
The ACO is celebrating 40 years; for the last 25 directed by Richard Tognetti. The ABO has reached its 25th anniversary directed for all that time by Paul Dyer. Both are charismatic, highly successful artistic leaders, who have put together terrifically attractive programs. Their intentions aren’t identical; the Brandenburg musicians are baroque specialists while the ACO has a wider repertoire brief. Tognetti in the past has made adventurous collaborations but this year is more mainstream, although there is an imaginative contemplation on Gallipoli.
With the Brandenburgs, Dyer features his specialist choir in an all Handel program and in the Christmas concert. As a departure, he is presenting a Vivaldi program playing a Moog synthesiser which for some will seem more remote than an 18th century instrument! But one must try to be modern.
The ACO is making sure that by the end of 2015 you’ll know all the tunes from The Four Seasons. Vivaldi’s super-pops will be heard at the Sydney Opera House in February and December; he’s certainly getting a workout.
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