Editor’s note: Due to unforeseen circumstances announced April 6, clarinetist Martin Fröst is unable to appear with the Australian Chamber Orchestra for this performance. Clarinetist Charles Neidich will join the orchestra as soloist.

The Australian Chamber Orchestra will perform a diverse and inspired program that pairs music from classical masters Prokofiev, Mozart, and Haydn, and one new work composed by Jonny Greenwood, acclaimed musician and member of the rock band Radiohead, at 7:30 p.m. on April 17. 

Presented by the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech, the performance will be held in the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located within the Moss Arts Center’s Street and Davis Performance Hall at 190 Alumni Mall. 

Known for its versatility and adventurous spirit, the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s performances span classical masterworks of all eras, projects that cross the boundaries of art, and pieces specially commissioned for the group. Founded by cellist John Painter, the ensemble was originally just 13 players who came together for concerts as they were invited. Today the orchestra has grown to 20 players, with more than 100 performance dates in Australia each year, and rigorous international touring.

The ensemble’s concert will feature Martin Fröst, Sweden’s world renowned clarinetist, performing Mozart’s moving Clarinet Concerto in A major. The performance also will feature a new piece composed by Radiohead guitarist Greenwood. “Water” is the result of his collaboration with the Australian Chamber Orchestra while in residence with the ensemble in 2013. The piece is scored for piano and keyboard, two flutes, two tanpuras, and strings. 

Greenwood also composed the award-winning film score for “There Will Be Blood,” was composer-in-residence with the BBC Concert Orchestra, and has written scores for films “The Master,” “Norwegian Wood,” and “We Need to Talk About Kevin.”

The orchestra’s program will also feature Haydn’s Symphony no. 83 in G minor, “La poule,” and Prokofiev’s “Vision fugitives,” op. 22.

For 40 years the Australian Chamber Orchestra has toured the world, bringing its energy and individuality to a wide variety of venues. Artistic director and lead violin Richard Tognetti has led the musicians as a small chamber group, a small symphony orchestra, and an electro-acoustic collective. The orchestra has collaborated with artists from diverse genres and recorded for the world’s top labels.

The Center for the Arts will host an Australian wine tasting event before the performance, from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Balcony Lobby of the Street and Davis Performance Hall. Keith Roberts, owner of the Vintage Cellar wine and beer shop in Blacksburg, has personally selected a host of Australian wines for the tasting and will be describing for the participants each wine’s special qualities, including complexity and characters within the fermentation process, flavors and ingredients, and the similarities and differences between the selections.

The cost for the Australian wine tasting is $25 per person, which includes six tastings. Light hors d’oeuvres will be served. Registration is required and space is limited. Call the Moss Arts Center’s box office at 540-231-5300 or register online.

The Center for the Arts will also host a Tweet Seats Master Class during the performance with select students from Virginia Tech’s School of Performing Arts. Designed to provide students and instructors a new way to make connections and discoveries through the arts while introducing a new dimension to the class experience, this Twitter-based educational discussion will be led by Tracy Cowden, an associate professor of piano and vocal coach in the School of Performing Arts.


Tickets are $25-55 for general public and $10 for students and youth 18 years old and under. Tickets can be purchased online; at the Moss Arts Center's box office, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday; or by calling 540-231-5300.

Parking is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street. Virginia Tech faculty and staff possessing a valid Virginia Tech parking permit can enter and exit the garage free of charge. Limited street parking is also available. Parking on Alumni Mall is free on weekdays after 5 p.m. and on weekends.

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