Quite apart from the pleasure of seeing so many familiar faces on the Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater podium, the inclusion of the Australian Chamber Orchestra as part of the 2019 Great Performers program was, in the words of the great W.S. Gilbert, a case of “very glad to hear my opinion backed by a competent authority.” Not that the ACO are strangers on the international scene, being well-supported regular visitors to New York and currently in the middle of a three-year residency at London’s Milton Court, but on this showing it was easy to see why they are in such demand, both as an ensemble of excellence and a breath of fresh air.

Australian Chamber Orchestra, New York Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Photo © Stephanie Berger

If matters looked a little cerebral on paper – Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 12 sandwiched between two of the greatest works to embrace the fugue in the history of music – in reality it was nothing of the sort. Richard Tognetti’s imaginative arrangements of the first four movements from Bach’s The Art of...

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