TEN years ago, ACO Collective began its musical journey across the country.
The 17-piece string ensemble joins Australia's most talented and dynamic emerging string players with the professional musicians of the Australian Chamber Orchestra.
In celebration of this milestone, the musicians are touring regional New South Wales and Queensland with a show called Mozart & Brahms.
The show is directed by Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto in his second year as artistic director of ACO Collective.
The event also features Britain's leading clarinettist, Matthew Hunt, as soloist.
Mr Kuusisto is renowned for his fiery and exuberant style of music-making, and said he is happy to lead the ensemble for performances of string music by Mozart and Bartók.
"The Mozart is perfect, pocket-sized and sweet, with very few dark clouds," Kuusisto said.
"The Bartók is fun, grotesque, heartbreaking and revolutionary.
"It's a party before the war breaks out, before you try to make your escape, and you have to decide which elements of your life you leave behind, and which elements you take with you."
The concerts will also feature Brahms' soulful Clarinet Quintet.
Written from the heart, the mellow, haunting quality of the clarinet is the perfect vehicle for expressing Brahms' autumnal temperament in his later years.
The ACO Collective will also offer a series of string workshops and education concerts for local school students throughout the tour.
Students in Armidale, Bellingen, Lismore, Toowoomba and Cairns will have the opportunity to play alongside ACO Collective musicians in string workshops tailored in collaboration with local string teachers and ensemble leaders, while students in Port Macquarie, Lismore and Mackay will explore and discover their own responses to music during interactive school's concerts.
The Lismore schools performance will be held at the City Hall this Monday, September 4 from 11am.
Highlights of this tour will also include a concert at the Bellingen Memorial Hall, a venue that the ACO Collective performed in on their very first tour in 2007.
At Lismore City Hall this Sunday from 2.30pm. Visit lismorecityhall.com.au or call 1300 066 772.
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