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Beethoven and Bridgetower

Australian Chamber Orchestra

William Barton sits in the middle of the stage on a pedestal playing guitar and didgeridoo. Members of the ACO stand either side of him, in near-darkness

Revolutionary music at its most super-charged: the exhilarating Australian Chamber Orchestra celebrate the radical music of Beethoven, and the inspiration he’s sparked ever since.

Beethoven meets violinist George Bridgetower, ripping the classical sonata wide open in the iconic 9th Sonata, dedicated to Rodolphe Kreutzer. Then, inspired by Tolstoy’s novella of obsessive jealousy (inspired by Beethoven), Janáček pushes the string quartet to its limits in his own fraught Kreutzer. The ACO and their maverick music director Richard Tognetti expand both masterpieces for full orchestra before putting them under the microscope. 

But first, regular ACO collaborator William Barton takes centre-stage, combining his spellbinding blend of vocals and virtuosic didgeridoo playing. The orchestra meet a kindred spirit in the form of Thomas Adès, whose evocative Shanty embraces the progressive spirit of the composers who inspire him. And in the midst are two more pioneers of their times: Ruth Crawford Seeger and George Walker.

This performance will finish at approximately 9.30pm, including a 20-minute interval

This livestream will be available to watch back until Sat 29 Oct at 7.30pm. You can buy a ticket up until this point. The live stream is available globally.

Produced by the Barbican

This performance is supported by the Australian Government as part of the UK/Australia Season 2021-22

Digital programme


William Barton holding a didgeridoo

In Conversation: William Barton

Hear William Barton  multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and one of Australia's leading didgeridoo players and composers  share stories from his musical upbringing and Kalkadunga heritage, and how he uses music as a language to connect with people.

photo of satu vanska in barbican theatre

Barbican Sessions: Satu Vänskä


In an empty Theatre, Satu Vänskä, Principal Violinist of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, performs JS Bach's ‘Allemande’ from Partita II in D minor.

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Supported by

This performance is supported by the Australian Government as part of the UK/Australia Season 2021-22

Milton Court Concert Hall