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A very wide bird's eye view of empty brown arid land with river systems zip zagging through the land


11 February 2024

In the Concert Hall

Australian Chamber Orchestra

Classical Music

A cinematic odyssey exploring the waterways that have shaped our world, in all their majesty and fragility.


For millions of years, rivers shaped landscapes and sustained communities. In flow, flood and drought, rivers gave life and carried it away. In two short centuries, humans have begun to re-shape rivers. We build dams upstream to sustain our cities. We alter flood plains and vary flows. Downstream, the changes can be catastrophic.

ACO Artistic Director Richard Tognetti and Director Jennifer Peedom follow their acclaimed Mountain with this cinematic exploration of the waterways that have shaped our world. On screen, the rivers flow in rhythm and harmony with music from outstanding composers. The result is an awe-inspiring combination of timeless music, captivating cinematography, and distinctive narration from award-winning actor Willem Dafoe.

The score features iconic works by composers including Bach and Ravel, music by Jonny Greenwood and Radiohead, and new original music by Richard Tognetti and peerless Indigenous composer William Barton. The soundtrack won ARIA & AACTA awards.

Performed live by Richard Tognetti and the ACO, alongside Jennifer Peedom’s astonishing visuals, the effect is even more powerful.

Presented by the Australian Chamber Orchestra

A very wide bird's eye view of empty brown arid land with river systems zip zagging through the land

Watch the trailer


River: film live in concert, featuring music by Bach, Vivaldi, Mahler, Sibelius, Ravel, Thomas Adès, Peteris Vasks, Richard Tognetti, Radiohead, Jonny Greenwood and William Barton.


Richard Tognetti
Musical Director, Composer & Violin

William Barton 
Composer, Vocals & Didgeridoo

Satu Vänskä
Vocals & Violin

Australian Chamber Orchestra

Jennifer Peedom 
Writer & Director

Robert Macfarlane 

Jo-anne McGowan, Jennifer Peedom, John Smithson 

Joseph Nizeti
Co-Writer & Co-Director

Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Ben Knight, Sherpas Cinema, Renan Ozturk and Pete McBride 
Principal Cinematography

Willem Dafoe 

Nigel Jamieson 
Staging Director

Damien Cooper
Lighting Design

Other information

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