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Australian Chamber Orchestra: River

Still image from River, showing a drone shot of a large meandering river

The Australian Chamber Orchestra provide live accompaniment to breath-taking footage of the world’s mighty rivers, in a profound meditation on how water has shaped our landscapes and human existence.

Our International Associate Ensemble at Milton Court and their Artistic Director Richard Tognetti never fail to bring us thought-provoking programmes. This mesmerising fusion of sound and cinematography was made for live performance, with music spanning from Vivaldi, Mahler and a new arrangement of J S Bach’s Chaconne, to Jonny Greenwood’s Water, and new music by Australian composer and musician William Barton.

Directed by BAFTA nominee Jennifer Peedom, River is the sequel to her and the ACO’s collaboration Mountain, which had its UK premiere here in 2018. With Robert Macfarlane’s reflective words narrated by Willem Dafoe, interrogate the relationship of humans with the world. Ask yourself: ‘Are we being good ancestors?’

This performance will finish at approximately 8.50pm, with no interval

Produced by the Barbican

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

‘a story about the limits of human control, and how our short-sighted attempts to control nature have backfired. It’s about the fragmentation of rivers and the long-term impact this is having…‘
Jennifer Peedom, director

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.

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