The Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra (ARCO) was born in 2012, during Victorian Opera’s performance of Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro.Richard Gill was conducting Ludovico’s Band, led by violinist and friend Rachael Beesley, in which I was playing. Richard was blown away by the calibre of the musicianship, and recognised that the Historically Informed Performance (HIP) knowledge and expertise assembled in the orchestra pit was something special. So, he invited us to create a new orchestra, which we originally called orchestra seventeen88.

Since then, with Richard as our Artistic Director and Berlin-based conductor Benjamin Bayl as Principal Guest Conductor, we’ve gone from strength to strength, thanks to the amazing generosity and dedication of our musicians.

The Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra. Photo © Nick Gilbert

Both Richard and Benjamin bring a wealth of experience to ARCO. Richard is an icon in the Australian music world. As well as being a formidable conductor, his  knowledge on all topics related to music is unfathomable, and he has always been passionate about HIP. Benjamin has his finger on the contemporary HIP pulse. He has a very busy conducting career in Europe and has worked...