Richard Tognetti AO
- Richard Tognetti AO
Richard Tognetti AO
Violinist, conductor and composer Richard Tognetti has an international reputation for his compelling performances and artistic individualism. Under his leadership, the Australian Chamber Orchestra has earned a reputation as one of the leading chamber orchestras in the world.
He began his studies in his hometown of Wollongong with William Primrose, then with Alice Waten at the Sydney Conservatorium, then Igor Ozim at the Bern Conservatory, where he was awarded the Tschumi Prize as the top graduate soloist in 1989. Later that year he led several performances of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and that November was appointed as the Orchestra’s lead violin and, subsequently, Artistic Director. He was Artistic Director of the Festival Maribor in Slovenia from 2008 to 2015.
Richard performs on period, modern and electric instruments and his numerous arrangements, compositions and transcriptions have expanded the chamber orchestra repertoire and been performed throughout the world. As director or soloist, he has appeared with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Academy of Ancient Music, Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Handel and Haydn Society (Boston), Hong Kong Philharmonic, Camerata Salzburg, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Nordic Chamber Orchestra and all of the Australian symphony orchestras, including as soloist and director with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. Richard also performed the Australian premieres of Ligeti’s Violin Concerto and Lutosławski’s Partita. He was London’s Barbican Centre’s first Artist in Residence at Milton Court Concert Hall.
Richard was co-composer of the score for Peter Weir’s film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World and the soundtrack to Tom Carroll’s surf film Storm Surfers. He created the documentary film Musica Surfica, as well as The Glide, The Reef and The Crowd.
In 2008, with Michael Yezerski he co-composed The Red Tree, a work for chamber orchestra and children’s choir, inspired by Shaun Tan’s book of the same name.
Richard was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2010. He holds honorary doctorates from three Australian universities and was made a National Living Treasure in 1999. Richard was presented the 2017 JC Williamson Award by Live Performance Australia. This award honours a practitioner who made an outstanding contribution to the Australian performing arts industry and shaped the future of our industry for the better.
Richard performs on a 1743 Guarneri del Gesu violin, lent to him by an anonymous Australian private benefactor.