Richard Tognetti & Australian Chamber Orchestra Perform at 65th Ojai Music Festival June 11-12

On June 14th the ACO perform at Ojai North, the newly launched collaboration with Cal Performances UC Berkeley

This June, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Artistic Director and Lead Violin Richard Tognetti, will make their debut at the 65th Ojai Music Festival. They appear at the invitation of the festival’s 2011 Music Director Dawn Upshaw with whom the ACO has toured extensively in recent years throughout the US, Europe and Australia. One of the highlights of this year’s festival will be the premiere of a new work written for Upshaw, Tognetti and the ACO by jazz composer and big band leader Maria Schneider.

The ACO will perform in two concerts at Ojai on June 11th and 12th and one on June 14th at Ojai North, a new multi-year residency project in partnership with Cal Performances in Berkeley launching following this year’s Ojai Music Festival.

On, Saturday morning, June 11th, Richard Tognetti performs in recital with pianist Gilbert Kalish, in works by Leos Janáček, Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe, Sergei Prokofiev (along with Australian Chamber Orchestra assistant leader violinist Satu Vänskä) and Beethoven’s “Kreutzer” Sonata. On Saturday evening, June 11th, the orchestra presents an unconventional program of classics by J.S Bach and Schoenberg and newer works by Giacinto Scelsi, and Alfred Schnittke. Also on the program is Mr. Tognetti’s own work Deviance -- a “pre-packaged arrangement” of Paginini’s Caprice No. 24. The Festival concert on Sunday, June 12 features a new work by Grammy-winning composer Maria Schneider for Dawn Upshaw and the Australian Chamber Orchestra entitled Winter Morning Walks, inspired by poetry by poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Ted Kooser. Unable to be in the sunlight because of his cancer treatments, Mr. Kooser took early morning walks, during which he wrote a series of postcards to a friend in which he transforms common things and daily events into well-timed and expertly sculpted poems. The postcards – poems no longer than a page, and mostly much shorter than that – form a diary of sorts is not only a response to and a subtle record of his battle with cancer, but a testimony to his joy in the heartbreaking beauty of existence. Orchestrated for the Australian Chamber Orchestra, this piece features two guest soloists long associated with Maria Schneider in her own orchestra, Frank Kimbrough on piano and Scott Robinson on woodwinds. In addition to the new Maria Schneider work, Sunday evening’s concert intertwines music by Webern, George Crumb, Mr. Tognetti’s own arrangements for string orchestra of works by Bartók and Grieg. This performance will be repeated on Tuesday, June 14th at Ojai North! at UC Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall.

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