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ACO – Tabula Rasa

Mon 8 Feb

Music prevails with Arvo Pärt and Shostakovich.

Joy and creativity can’t be held down forever, especially when we can draw from music, art and each other to overcome hardship and start again. It’s appropriate then that the 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.

We are committed to delivering safe & enjoyable performing arts experiences, and have a COVID Safe Plan to help keep everyone safe that includes:

• Reduced capacities – up to 75% of our normal seating capacity. Empty seats are distributed throughout the theatre, however, you may have people seated next to you.
• Mandatory face masks for staff and theatre patrons (children under 12 are exempt)
• Digital check-ins
• Additional cleaning and disinfecting of theatres and foyers
• Increased distance between performers and the audience
• Hand sanitising stations throughout our venues
• Trained staff to assist with COVID safety.

When you visit, it is really important that you are feeling well, and prepared to adhere to the safety practices of our venues. If you’re experiencing any COVID symptoms, even if they are very mild, please stay home and contact us prior to your event, and we will arrange a refund or exchange.

Click here for the most up-to-date information.



Director & Violin Richard Tognetti
Violin Satu Vänskä
Accompanied by Australian Chamber Orchestra


ARVO PÄRT Tabula Rasa
PROKOFIEV Sonata for Solo Violin in D major, Op.115 (performed by all the violinists in the ACO
THOMAS ADÈS* Shanty (World Premiere)
SHOSTAKOVICH (arr. Barshai) Chamber Symphony in C minor, op.11a
*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.

Coming Up…