The American

The American

Friday 11th Nov - 8:00pm
Llewellyn Hall
Australian Chamber Orchestra

In this rich tapestry of American music, invention and reinvention are the warp and weft. There is balm for the soul and invigorating jolts of energy to raise the spirits high.

This concert opens with ‘Rising Sun Blues’, an English folksong imported to the American South. Its enduring influence can be traced as a thread through American culture ever since.

George Walker pays lyrical tribute to his grandmother, a former slave, in his 1946 work Lyric for Strings, while Florence Price refracts the Black folkloric tradition through the prism of Western string playing in her Negro Folksongs in Counterpoint.

Music by contemporary giants Morton Feldman, Bryce Dessner and John Adams continue the work of remaking and revitalisation, culminating in the world premiere of a new work for electric violin and strings by American composer Samuel Adams for Richard Tognetti and the Orchestra.

The concert reaches a peak with Tognetti’s string orchestra arrangement of Dvořák’s sublime American Quartet, written during a rural holiday in America in 1893. Fresh, optimistic and full of rustic charm, this is music to warm the soul.



Richard Tognetti • Director & Electric Violin
Australian Chamber Orchestra


TRADITIONAL The House of the Rising Sun
JOHN ADAMS John’s Book of Alleged Dances: Selections
PRICE Five Negro Folksongs in Counterpoint: Selections
SAMUEL ADAMS New Work for Electric Violin and Strings* (World Premiere)
WALKER Lyric for Strings
FELDMAN Rothko Chapel: 5th Movement
DVORÁK (arr. Tognetti) String Quartet No.12 in F major, Op.96 “American”