Alumni Profile: Richard Tognetti

“WollCon is a huge asset to Wollongong, to the community and to the future of music.  It needs us all to champion its work and ensure it thrives for the next 50 years.”

Richard Tognetti

Music Director, Australian Chamber Orchestra

Richard began playing the violin at the age of four, spending his early years at WollCon where his talent was nurtured by his family and by two distinguished string teachers – Harold Brissenden and Hiroko Primrose. He was one of the first pupils of WollCon before entering the Conservatorium High School in Sydney at the age of 11.

He became leader and soloist of the young persons’ chamber orchestra founded and conducted by the then Director of the Sydney Conservatorium, John Painter. It prepared him for one of his most significant early achievements as director, leader and soloist of the Huntington Chamber Orchestra.

In 1987 Richard left for Europe and studied in Bern where he performed as a member of and soloist with the prestigious Camerata Bern Chamber Orchestra. He returned to Australia in 1989 to become Director and Concertmaster of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and has taken the ACO to recognition on the world stage.

“My early musical journey was nurtured by Wollongong Conservatorium and the staff there were formative in helping me develop not only my playing skills but my love for music and musicianship as well as the importance of music in all our lives.  It was, and is, a place where a music community thrives and people of all ages and abilities can explore their musical passions.   Nurturing the talent of the future and engaging our community in music is essential for our wellbeing as well as the educational and cultural life of the Country.  The work of WollCon is central to that in our City.”

Richard Tognetti