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Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra

Richard Gill.jpg

Richard Gill AO, Founding Artistic Director

ARCO Soloists


The Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra is unique in the Australian musical landscape as the only orchestra specialising in historically informed performance (HIP) of late 18th- to early 20th-century repertoire.


Established in 2013 by conductor Richard Gill AO, violinist Rachael Beesley and clarinettist Nicole van Bruggen, the ensemble is now a familiar sight and sound at major Sydney and Melbourne arts venues, as well as in metropolitan and regional centres throughout the country. The orchestra is dedicated to recreating the sounds and style of Romantic and Classical music as it was played in the time it was composed with the combined talents of world-class musicians and researchers.


“Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra has carved out a niche for itself bringing a HIP sensibility and period instruments – not to mention fine playing – to the music of both the Classical and Romantic Periods.” Limelight Magazine, August 2018


In tandem with the main concert season, the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra educates Australian audiences on the history of Western music through two cornerstone education programs.


• Voyage of Musical Discovery is a three-part education series deconstructing and exploring connections between different styles and periods of Western music. Originally conceived as an educational resource for secondary school music students but increasingly popular with concert-goers of all ages, this series features guest ensembles who specialise in the performance of improvised and contemporary Australian music performing alongside the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra for a visceral contrast of old and new.


• Young Mannheim Symphonists is an intensive one-week course bringing young Australian musicians from diverse backgrounds together to be mentored in HIP style. In addition to an intense focus on musical development, the students learn to operate outside their comfort zone and work together in large groups with a common goal in mind.


Through these two programs, the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra has demonstrated a unique commitment to music education in Australia, reaching over 2,000 students in 2018 alone.


As an orchestra and chamber music ensemble, the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra continues to grow and aims to share its passion for music with listeners and learners everywhere. The orchestra’s twin goals of performance and education are delivered through live concerts, collaborations with guest ensembles, radio broadcasts, innovative education programs, pre-concert presentations and specialist online resources. The Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra is at the forefront of the historically informed performance scene and stays abreast of the latest research and developments around the world by collaborating with hand-picked internationally-respected musicians, directors and soloists.



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