In the New Year, the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra brings to life the colours and contrasts of Classical music together with the expressive and emotional realm of Romantic music in a fabulous concert season. Performing on the exquisite and dynamic period instruments of the time, Australia’s world-class Romantic and Classical orchestra presents bold and daring programs with superlative soloists, conducted by Artistic Director Richard Gill AO and Principal Guest Conductor Benjamin Bayl.
ARCO (which also means ‘to bow’ a string instrument in Italian music terminology) burst onto Australia’s music scene in late 2013 as orchestra seventeen88 and has since performed outstanding orchestral and chamber concerts all around Australia. Featuring some of Australia’s finest international musicians and directed by legendary Australian conductor and educator Richard Gill AO, it aims ‘to inspire, educate and enlighten’ audiences. Through the combination of historical integrity and quality of musical performance, ARCO leads a rediscovery of Classical and Romantic repertoire with the beauty and clarity unique to a full period instrument orchestra. It has also made music education a focal point of its vision and the ambitious 2017 program steps this up a gear too with a series of workshops at public and private schools.
The excitement begins in March with the “Italian Romance” program, featuring Beethoven’s Romance for Violin (Rachael Beesley, soloist; Benjamin Bayl, conductor) and Mendelssohn’s beloved ‘Italian’ Symphony. The concerts take place at the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall of the Melbourne Recital Centre (MRC) on Friday 24 March and the City Recital Hall, Angel Place in Sydney on Saturday 25 March (both at 7.30pm).
May sees the “Unfinished Romance” series come to the same two major city venues, this time featuring Schubert’s ‘Unfinished’ Symphony and highlights from Rossini’s daring Barber of Seville. Mezzo-soprano Fiona Campbell is the featured soloist with Richard Gill conducting as the orchestra starts in Sydney’s City Recital Hall on Saturday 20 May then performs in the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, MRC on Monday 22 May (both concerts at 7.30pm).
Finally, the September “Revolutionary Romance” chamber concerts offer Mozart’s famous Clarinet Quintet (Nicole van Bruggen, soloist; Rachael Beesley director) and his exquisite Sinfonia Concertante as well as a favourite movement from Spohr’s String Sextet.
This article appeared in the January issue of Fine Music Magazine. To subscribe click here.