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Joy and creativity can’t be held down forever, especially when we can draw from music and art and each other to overcome hardship and start again. It's appropriate then that ACO's 2021 Season begins with a reconnection to the first program cancelled in the sudden 2020 shutdown.

Estonian Arvo Pärt is one of the most performed and influential living composers. Written while Estonia was under Soviet-control, his Tabula Rasa – Latin for a clean slate – seeks spirituality and independence.

As with Tabula Rasa, Wojciech Kilar’s Orawa, written during Poland’s long confinement behind the Iron Curtain, expresses the beauty of freedom and the natural world, while Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony in C minor is a lament for victims of fascism and war, but also an act of self-reflection. Moving through elegy and brutal force into acceptance and farewell it reminds us once more that creativity, art and music do prevail.


Visitor Safety Information

Audiences are seated in accordance with requirements currently set by NSW Health for City Recital Hall and capacity is capped at 75%. It is mandatory to bring and wear a mask while at the venue. 

As a COVID-19 tracing protocol, we will require all patrons who enter the venue to check-in via QR code through the Service NSW App at the entrance. All data will be stored securely and will be deleted after the mandatory 28 day period. 

Before you visit the venue, please download the Service NSW App to ensure your arrival at the venue is as smooth as possible.

Before you arrive at City Recital Hall, familiarise yourself with our new venue protocols here.

Please do not attend this event if you are feeling unwell. If you have tickets and are no longer able to attend:

  • View our updated Terms & Conditions 
  • Visit for the latest advice and information about COVID-19
  • Contact the Coronavirus Information Line 1800 020 080 for any health enquiries


Details correct at the time of publication.

  • Kilar
    Arvo Pärt
    Tabula Rasa
    Sonata for Solo Violin in D Major, Op.115 (performed by all the violinists in the ACO)
    Thomas Adès
    Shanty* (World Premiere)
    Chamber Symphony in C Minor (arr. Barshai)

    *Commissioned by Australian Chamber Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Munich Chamber Orchestra, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Kammerorchester Basel (with Gstaad Menuhin Festival) and Hong Kong Sinfonietta

  • Richard Tognetti
    Director and Violin
    Satu Vänskä

    Australian Chamber Orchestra