Australian Chamber Orchestra Led By Violinist Richard Tognetti Performs Works by Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Britten

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March 12, 2014

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MARCH 23 AT 3 P.M.

Pianist Olli Mustonen and Chicago Symphony Orchestra 
Principal Trumpet Christopher Martin are Soloists

CHICAGO —The Symphony Center Presents Chamber Music series continues with the innovative Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO) led by violinist Richard Tognetti on Sunday, March 23 at 3 p.m.  In a fitting precursor to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Spring 2014 Truth to Power Festival, which explores and presents the music of groundbreaking 20th century musicians Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Britten, the ACO program includes Prokofiev’s Suite from Visions fugitives and Five Melodies for Violin and Strings, Britten’s Variations on a Theme by Frank Bridge, as well as Two Pieces for String Octet and Concerto No. 1 for Piano, Trumpet and Strings in C Minor by Shostakovich.

The ACO returns for its second appearance on the Symphony Center Presents Chamber Music series since 2012. Tognetti and the ACO, who performed the Shostakovich Concerto with CSO Principal Trumpet Christopher Martin at CalPerformances in 2013, welcome pianist Olli Mustonen as the featured soloist in this work. Mustonen has appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as a soloist several times, most recently in 2007 in performances of the John Adams’ Century Rolls.

The internationally acclaimed Australian Chamber Orchestra is recognized for its programming that highlights virtuosity, energy and individuality in diverse repertoire spanning popular masterworks, multi-disciplinary projects, and pieces specially commissioned for the ensemble. Richard Tognetti, who has been the ACO’s lead violinist and artistic director since his appointment in 1989, has transformed the group into the dynamic ensemble that audiences and critics applaud in concert halls around the globe today.

Program and Ticket Details

Tickets for all CSOA concerts can be purchased by phone at 800‑223‑7114 or 312-294‑3000; online at, or at the Symphony Center box office: 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60604.

Discounted student tickets for select concerts can be purchased, subject to availability, online in advance or at the box office on the day of the concert. For group rates, please call 312-294-3040.

Artists, programs and prices are subject to change.

Symphony Center Presents
Chamber Music Series













Sunday, March 23 at 3 p.m.  
Australian Chamber Orchestra
Richard Tognetti, Lead Violin
Olli Mustonen, Piano
Christopher Martin, Trumpet

SHOSTAKOVICH Two Pieces for String Octet, Op. 11
PROKOFIEV Suite from Visions fugitives
    for Piano, Trumpet and Strings, Op. 35
PROKOFIEV Five Melodies for Violin and Strings, Op. 35b
    (arr. Swenson)
BRITTEN Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Op. 10

Tickets: $21–$87



About the Australian Chamber Orchestra
Renowned for its inspired programming and unrivalled virtuosity, energy and individuality, the Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO), is one of today’s most active and acclaimed chamber music ensembles. Founded in 1975 and currently led by the outstanding violinist Richard Tognetti, the ACO is Australia’s only national orchestra, presenting performances to 10,000 subscribers across Australia annually. The Orchestra also tours worldwide making stops to perform on the great music stages of the world including Vienna’s Musikverien, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, London’s Wigmore Hall, New York’s Carnegie Hall, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. 

The ACO’s unique programming extends across six centuries, spanning popular masterworks, adventurous cross-art form projects and pieces specially commissioned for the ensemble. The Orchestra performs as a symphony orchestra, chamber music ensemble and electro-acoustic collective collaborating with an extraordinary range of artists from numerous artistic disciplines including renowned soloists Steven Isserlis, Jeremy Denk, and Martin Fröst; singers Andreas Scholl and Danielle de Niese; and such diverse artists as cinematographer Jon Frank, entertainer Barry Humphries, photographer Bill Henson, choreographer Rafael Bonachela, and author Alex Ross.

An award-winning recording ensemble, the ACO’s recorded highlights include four-time Grammy Award winning recording of Maria Schneider’s Winter Morning Walks with Dawn Upshaw, multi-award-winning documentary film Musica Surfica, the sound-track for television series Classical Destinations II and the complete set of Mozart Violin Concertos. 

About Richard Tognetti
Australian violinist, conductor and composer, Richard Tognetti has established an international reputation for his compelling performances and artistic individualism. Appointed as Leader of the Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO) in 1989 and subsequently named Artistic Director for the ACO, he also serves as Artistic Director of the Maribor Festival in Slovenia and Creative Associate of Classical Music for Melbourne Festival.

Tognetti performs on period, modern and electric instruments. His numerous arrangements, compositions and transcriptions have expanded the chamber orchestra repertoire and been performed throughout the world. He performs on a 1743 Guarneri del Gesu violin, lent to him by an anonymous Australian private benefactor.

As director or soloist, Tognetti has appeared with numerous ensembles including the Handel & Haydn Society (Boston), Hong Kong Philharmonic, Camerata Salzburg, Nordic Chamber Orchestra, YouTube Symphony Orchestra and the Australian symphony orchestras.

Noted for his unique collaborations, Tognetti has worked with a number of exceptional artists including American soprano Dawn Upshaw, French flutist Emmanuel Pahud, Australian actor Jack Thompson, illustrator Shaun Tan and singer/songwriter Neil Finn among others. In 2003, Tognetti was co-composer of the score for Peter Weir’s Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World; violin tutor for its star, Russell Crowe; and can also be heard performing on the award-winning soundtrack. As well as directing numerous recordings by the ACO, Tognetti has also recorded Bach’s solo violin repertoire for ABC Classics, winning three consecutive ARIA awards.  

About Olli Mustonen
Equally accomplished in his roles as pianist, composer and conductor, Finnish pianist Olli Mustonen holds a unique place in today’s music scene.  Mustonen is frequent concerto soloist with the world’s major orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic and The Royal Concertgebouw, partnering conductors such as Barenboim, Boulez, Dutoit, Harnoncourt, Nagano, Salonen and Saraste. Recent recital appearances have taken him to musical capitals including Edinburgh, Sydney, St. Petersburg and London. Also an acclaimed recording artist, his release on Decca of Preludes by Shostakovich and Alkan received the Edison Award and Gramophone Award for the Best Instrumental Recording.

Maintaining a special partnership with illustrious Russian pianist and composer Rodion Shchedrin and conductor Valery Gergiev, Mustonen gave the world premiere of Shchedrin’s Piano Concerto No. 5, which was dedicated to Mustonen, and a performance at the closing of the 2011 Moscow Easter Festival, which was nationally televised throughout Russia.

Since 2012, Mustonen has seen the premiere of his 1st Symphony, Tuuri by the Helsinki Philharmonic who will also premiere his 2nd Symphony, Johannes Angelos, next season. Mustonen was also recently named the Helsinki Philharmonic’s Artist in Residence where he is regularly featured in all three roles as conductor, composer and soloist across a diverse range of concerts.  As he embraces these multiple roles, Mustonen maintains a goal for each performance to have the freshness of a first performance so that audience and performer alike encounter the composer as a living contemporary.

Other recent and upcoming performances and collaborations include those with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Sakari Oramo,  performances of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in its transcription for piano, with l’Orchestre de Paris and Paavo Järvi, the current U.S. tour with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and a European tour with Steven Isserlis to include Mustonen’s own Cello Sonata.

About Christopher Martin
Christopher Martin holds the Adolph Herseth Principal Trumpet Chair of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO). Prior to his appointment in 2005 by Daniel Barenboim, he was principal trumpet of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and associate principal trumpet of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He regularly performs as soloist on the CSO’s subscription series, most recently in the 2012 world premiere of Christopher Rouse’s new concerto, Heimdall’s Trumpet, which was commissioned for him by the CSO. That same year, Martin was also the featured trumpet soloist in John Williams’s score to the Stephen Spielberg film Lincoln.

Martin may also be heard on CSO Resound recordings, including the 2011 release, CSO Brass Live, as well as on Atlanta Symphony recordings on the Telarc label. He currently is on the faculty of Northwestern University and regularly performs as a duo with his wife Margaret, an organist and pianist, in both baroque and contemporary repertoire.  He is a Yamaha Performing Artist.


About the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) is consistently hailed as one of the greatest orchestras in the world. Its music director since 2010 is Riccardo Muti, one of the preeminent conductors of our day. Pierre Boulez is the CSO’s Helen Regenstein Conductor Emeritus; Yo-Yo Ma is the CSO’s Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant. Mason Bates and Anna Clyne are the CSO’s Mead Composers-in-Residence.

The musicians of the CSO annually perform more than 150 concerts, most at Symphony Center in downtown Chicago and, in the summer, at the suburban Ravinia Festival. The CSO frequently tours internationally and occasionally performs in other parts of the U.S. Since its founding in 1891, the Orchestra has made 57 international tours, visiting 28 countries on five continents. At home and on tour, tickets are always in high demand and frequently sold out.

People around the globe enjoy the extraordinary sounds of the Orchestra through broadcasts and webcasts of the weekly CSO Radio program and through CSO Resound, the CSO’s own record label. Recordings by the CSO have won 62 Grammy Awards®.

The parent organization for the CSO is the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association (CSOA). It also includes the Chicago Symphony Chorus, directed by Duain Wolfe, and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, a pre-professional ensemble conducted by Cliff Colnot. Through a series called Symphony Center Presents, the CSOA brings internationally known guest artists and ensembles from a variety of musical genres—classical, jazz, pop, world, and contemporary—to Chicago.

The CSOA’s Institute for Learning, Access, and Training offers a variety of youth, community, and education programs that engage more than 200,000 people of diverse ages, incomes and backgrounds. Through the programs of the Institute as well as many other activities, including a free annual CSO concert, the CSOA promotes the concept of Citizen Musicianship: using the power of music to contribute to our culture, our communities and the lives of others.

A nonprofit organization, the CSOA is governed by a voluntary board of trustees and supported by tens of thousands of other volunteers, patrons and corporate, foundation and individual donors. Deborah F. Rutter, a highly regarded arts executive, is president of the CSOA. 

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