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Current restrictions on international travel have halted the ACO’s third Barbican residency, but they are nonetheless presenting a new residency in digital form.

The Barbican Centre has announced a digital residency with the Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO), the Centre’s International Associate Ensemble at Milton Court.

The ACO and their Music Director Richard Tognetti are currently in Australia but bring an entirely free programme of concerts, supported by a Barbican-curated collection of podcasts, photography, videos, conversations and more for this new virtual residency which takes place from 1-3 December 2020.

The new digital residency marks what would have been the ensemble’s third year as a Barbican partner and will be available on the Barbican website, free of charge.

Across three pre-recorded concerts (from the last three years – most recently September 2020), the ACO bring a programme showcasing their characteristically eclectic performances.

In a concert that would have been performed at the Barbican in October 2020, Indies and Idols (1 Dec) twins the music of contemporary performers and composers Bryce Dessner, Sufjan Stevens and Jonny Greenwood with works from some of the great composers who inspired them: Karol Szymanowski, Witold Lutosławski and Krzysztof Penderecki.

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On 2 December, the ACO present Transfigured, a project that marked the ACO’s exuberant and hopeful return to the stage in Australia in September 2020, featuring indigenous Australian composer, vocalist and didgeridoo player William Barton.

The residency concludes with 2017’s Sydney Opera House live performance recording of the film Mountain (PG).

Directed by BAFTA nominee Jennifer Peedom and narrated by William Dafoe, this breath-taking cinematic exploration of humanity’s obsession with wilderness and the sublime force of high places was recorded with the ACO performing in front of the film’s stunning backdrop. Mountain will be available to watch until 5 December, with the other two concerts available for a month.

Huw Humphreys, Head of Music, said “We are thrilled to be able to present this digital ACO residency, which showcases the energy, flexibility, vibrancy and artistry for which the ensemble is renowned. International partnerships like the one we have with the ACO are now more important than ever and we are so proud that they are our International Associate Ensemble at Milton Court.

“The ACO’s annual visits to the Barbican have provided many of the stand-out moments of recent seasons and, while they are unable to be with us in person this year, we hope that this treasure trove of digital delights will sustain you until the ACO and Richard Tognetti can be back with us again soon.”

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