Sydney Times


The Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra has announced full details of it vibrant 2023 – 10th Anniversary – Concert Season!

Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra Photo by Robert Catto, on Friday 19 August, 2022. Please credit & tag the photographer when images are used - @robertcatto on Instagram & Twitter, @robertcattophotographer on Facebook.
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The Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra has announced full details of it vibrant 2023 

10th Anniversary – Concert Season!


Welcome to the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra’s vibrant 2023 Concert Season!


In 2023, we celebrate our 10th anniversary – 10 years of exploring historically informed performance through memorable concerts and enriching education programs – with a series of concerts that journey from the luxury of Vienna to the rugged landscapes of Scotland, from the close intimacy of chamber music to the grandeur of the full orchestra. And, in honour of Richard Gill AO’s extraordinary legacy, we continue to inspire, educate and enlighten, as we have done every day for the past decade.

For the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra’s 2023 Concert Season, we welcome music lovers to our concerts and music education programs presented throughout the year across Australia’s eastern seaboard. In addition to our mainstage concert series, we will present our unique music education programs; the Voyage of Musical Discovery, designed for intergenerational audiences to explore compositional links and similarities in Australian contemporary music alongside Classical and Romantic works, and the Young Mannheim Symphonists, created for secondary and tertiary students, and emerging artists to nurture and develop the next generation by offering historical perspectives and insights.


Says Rachael:

“We are so excited to be celebrating our 10th anniversary with our incredible audiences, generous donors, patrons and supporters, government funding bodies and presenting partners who have been with us along the way.” Nicole adds: “We are hugely thankful for all the support that enables us to continue to INSPIRE, EDUCATE and ENLIGHTEN. Onwards and upwards!”


Rachael Beesley & Nicole van Bruggen, Co-Artistic Directors.

Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra

Richard Gill AO | Founding Artistic Director


2023 Concert Season


Mozart Clarinet Quintet, Schubert & Hummel

Viennese Vogue

Johann Nepomuk Hummel – Clarinet Quartet in E flat major, S.78

Franz Schubert – String Trio in B flat major, D.471

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Clarinet Quintet in A major, K.581


Saturday 4 March 7pm – Ithaca Auditorium, Brisbane City Hall


Sunday 5 March 3pm – The Events Centre, Caloundra


Tuesday 7 March 7pm – David Li Sound Gallery, Monash University, Melbourne


Friday 10 March 7pm – Adamstown Uniting Church, Newcastle


Sunday 12 March 11am – Orange Chamber Music Festival


Tuesday 14 March 6.30pm – The Hills Grammar School, Kenthurst


Wednesday 15 March 7pm – Albert Hall, Canberra


Thursday 16 March 7pm – The Neilson, ACO Pier 2/3, Sydney


MOZART CLARINET QUINTET, SCHUBERT & HUMMEL (Viennese Vogue) explores the explosion in popularity of the clarinet in the late 1700s when the instrument was brought to the fore as a soloist, and became heavily featured in chamber music. Much of this is due to the great virtuoso Anton Stadler, whose expressive playing awakened everyone to the instrument’s possibilities – especially Mozart, who fell in love with the clarinet, describing it as the instrument closest to the human voice. He wrote his Clarinet Quintet for Stadler, a work that remains among Mozart’s most beloved compositions centuries later. It also directly inspired his one-time student and protégé Johann Nepomuk Hummel, whose Clarinet Quartet is a beautifully balanced work of chamber music that demonstrates his significance as a bridge between the Classical and Romantic eras.


Nicole van Bruggen | clarinet & basset clarinet

Rachael Beesley | violin

Julia Russoniello | violin

Simon Oswell | viola

Daniel Yeadon | cello

Beethoven Septet & Louise Farrenc

New Perspectives

Ludwig van Beethoven – Septet in E flat major, Op.20

Louise Farrenc – Nonet in E flat major, Op.38


Wednesday 31 May 6.30pm – The Hills Grammar School, Kenthurst


Friday 2 June 7pm – The Neilson, ACO Pier 2/3, Sydney


Saturday 3 June 7pm – Ithaca Auditorium, Brisbane City Hall


Sunday 4 June 3pm – The Events Centre, Caloundra


Tuesday 6 June 7pm – Albert Hall, Canberra


Wednesday 7 June 7pm – Adamstown Uniting Church, Newcastle


Saturday 10 June 7pm – David Li Sound Gallery, Monash University, Melbourne


BEETHOVEN SEPTET & LOUISE FARRENC NONET (New Perspectives) showcases the expressive potential of larger chamber groups of strings and winds, and the beautiful sounds made when these instruments are balanced by a master. Beethoven’s Septet was one of his early successes, taking the popular Viennese format of a serenade or divertimento but imbuing it with virtuosity and complexity. The Septet was such a hit that very few composers dared write for a similarly-sized ensemble for fifty years, until the great French pianist, professor and publisher Louise Farrenc wrote her Nonet in 1849. Full of rich textures and intricate scoring, it demonstrates her irrefutable compositional skill.


Georgia Browne | flute

Tatjana Zimre | oboe

Nicole van Bruggen | clarinet

Anneke Scott | horn

Lisa Goldberg | bassoon

Jenna Sherry | violin

Stephen King | viola

Daniel Yeadon | cello

Rob Nairn | double bass

Mendelssohn Scottish & Beethoven Eight

Midsummer Dreams

Rachael Beesley | conductor


Felix Bartholdy Mendelssohn – Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Op.61

Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No.8 in F major, Op.93

Felix Bartholdy Mendelssohn – ‘Scottish’ Symphony No.3 in A minor, Op.56


Sunday 30 July – Brisbane


Tuesday 1 August 7pm – Albert Hall, Canberra


Friday 4 August 7pm – Robert Blackwood Hall, Monash University, Melbourne


Saturday 5 August 7pm – Newcastle City Hall


Sunday 6 August 3pm – Richard Bonynge Concert Hall, The Joan, Penrith (Western Sydney)


Tuesday 8 August 7pm – The Concourse, Chatswood (Sydney)


MENDELSSOHN SCOTTISH & BEETHOVEN EIGHT (Midsummer Dreams) symphonic program opens in the magical world of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Mendelssohn’s enchanting overture, full of twinkling fairy feet and sparkling strings. It ends in the brooding landscapes of Scotland with Mendelssohn’s ‘Scottish’ Symphony, inspired by his travels there as a young man – a hugely evocative and dramatic work. In between, we take a journey of a different kind, plumbing the depths of the symphony in Beethoven’s Eighth. This is a remarkable work that confounds expectations and surprises at every turn, yet is full of toe-tapping melodies.

Voyage of Musical Discovery

In 2023, our Voyage of Musical Discovery places contemporary Australian music alongside Classical and Romantic works in three programs – continuing in Sydney and Brisbane and now also in Melbourne – featuring remarkable Australian contemporary female composers and performers. In Design & Innovation, the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra is joined by composer/pianist Sally Whitwell, soprano Anna Fraser and video installation artist Katy B Plummer; for Cultural Narratives, the orchestra partners with the Acacia Quartet and composer Alice Chance (Sydney), Tango Enigmático and composer Cécile Elton (Brisbane) and percussionist Louise Devenish and violinist Anna McMichael performing works by Cathy Milliken, Daniel Blinkhorn, Kate Moore, Damian Barbeler and Bree van Reyk (Melbourne); and in Musical Identities with Ensemble Offspring and composers Brenda Gifford, Fiona Loader and Nardi Simpson (Sydney), Muses Trio & Guests, composer Nicole Murphy (Brisbane) and the Australian Art Orchestra performing a recent work by Aaron Choulai (Melbourne).


Voyage One

Design & Innovation


Brisbane – St Peters Lutheran College

Monday 6 March 11.30am


Melbourne – David Li Sound Gallery, The Ian Potter Centre for Performing Arts, Monash University

Thursday 9 March 6.30pm


Sydney – City Recital Hall

Monday 13 March 6.30pm


Artists Brisbane, Melbourne & Sydney:

Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra

Sally Whitwell | composer/piano

Anna Fraser | soprano

Katy B Plummer | video installation


Voyage Two

Cultural Narratives

Sydney – The Concourse

Thursday 1 June 6.30pm


Brisbane – St Peters Lutheran College

Monday 5 June 11.30am


Melbourne – David Li Sound Gallery, The Ian Potter Centre for Performing Arts, Monash University

Thursday 8 June 6.30pm



Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra

Acacia Quartet

Alice Chance | composer (Sydney)


Tango Enigmático

Cécile Elton | composer (Brisbane)


Louise Devenish | percussion

Anna McMichael | violin

Cathy Milliken | composer

Daniel Blinkhorn | composer

Kate Moore | composer

Damian Barbeler  | composer

Bree van Reyk | composer (Melbourne)

Voyage Three

Musical Identities


Brisbane – St Peters Lutheran College

Monday 31 July 11.30am


Melbourne – Robert Blackwood Hall, Monash University

Thursday 3 August 6.30pm


Sydney – City Recital Hall

Monday 7 August 6.30pm



Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra

Rachael Beesley | conductor


Muses Trio & Friends

Nicole Murphy | composer (Brisbane)


Australian World Orchestra

Aaron Choulai | composer (Melbourne)


Ensemble Offspring

Fiona Loader | composer

Brenda Gifford | composer

Nardi Simpson | composer (Sydney)

photo credit: © Robert Catto


Young Mannheim Symphonists

The Young Mannheim Symphonists youth orchestra program is a unique and exciting program designed to give secondary and tertiary students and emerging musicians the opportunity to discover for themselves the magic of approaching music with historical performance style. As the students are led through great musical masterpieces of the Classical and Romantic periods, and exposed to the knowledge and perception of professional musicians experienced in historically informed performance, they are inspired by how the music comes to life, and empowered to begin making informed musical decisions on their own.

Applications for the 2023 National Academy have closed. A second round of auditions is currently open for the VIC Intensive and NSW Intensive, with applications closing on Sunday 12 February.




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