After the record-breaking success of Mountain, the Australian Chamber Orchestra is presenting another musical and cinematic odyssey, River. Once again, Richard Tognetti is aiming for a beyond-the-concert-hall experience. But as Harriet Cunninghamdiscovers, Riveris at heart an environmental film with a more transformative story arc and an urgent message.

Richard Tognetti has a theory about film music. The violin virtuoso and Artistic Director of the Australian Chamber Orchestra says he’s happy to be proven wrong but, after more than a decade of working in the space where film meets music, he reckons you can put any music to any film and it will work. Barber’s Adagiowith trench warfare. Viennese waltzes with space stations. Vivaldi with avalanches.

“We experience a lot of amazing music through the eyes of great film directors such as Robert Altman, Stanley Kubrick, Peter Weir,” says Tognetti....