Composer, conductor and violinist Richard Tognetti has been artistic director of the world-renowned Australian Chamber Orchestra since 1989, when he was just twenty-four years old.

The surfing fan from Wollongong in NSW, whose guilty musical pleasure is fellow Australian rockers AC/DC, is coming to London for a residency at the Guildhall School’s Milton Court Concert Hall, part of the Barbican arts complex, from 11 to 14 March.

It’s an ideal opportunity to catch the virtuoso who is known for his adventurous, sometimes anarchic, style and a great chance to prove wrong any doubting friends who think that “Australian culture” is a contradiction in terms!

The programme opens with a performance of his project ‘The Reef’ – a celebration of his Tognetti’s passion for surfing. He uses period, modern and electric instruments to create genre-defying music inspired by Ningaloo Reef where the Australian desert meets the ocean.

Classical pieces by Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart and Shostakovich feature in the following days’ recitals as well as work by another Australian composer, Roger Smalley.

Tognetti was declared one of the hundred “National Living Treasures” by the National Trust of Australia in 1999. He co-composed the score for the 2003 film “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World” as well as tutoring its star, Russell Crowe, in playing violin. He also starred and co-created the 2008 surfing documentary “Musica Surfa” which has won multiple awards at surf film festivals around the world.

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