Commonwealth Bank and the Australian Chamber Orchestra kick off the 2009 Great Romantics national tour

Sydney, 11 June 2009: The Commonwealth Bank today congratulated the Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO) on the commencement of its Great Romantics Tour.

Commonwealth Bank Group Executive Human Resources and Group Services, Ms Barbara Chapman, said the Group was committed to supporting the Arts in Australia and helping its customers, staff and the Australian community engage with music at the highest level.

“As a partner of the ACO since 1988, we have been privileged to watch it grow into the world class orchestra that it is today,” she said.

“We are proud of our ongoing support and commitment to the ACO and excited to be the 2009 National Tour Partner for the Great Romantics.”

Ms Chapman said the Commonwealth Bank was especially proud to loan its rare Guadagnini violin – crafted in 1759 in Parma, Italy, and purchased by the Bank in 1996 – to ACO’s Principal Second Violin and leader of the ACO’s Emerging Artists Program, Helena Rathbone.

“We are delighted that on the violin’s 250th birthday, it is played by such an exquisite violinist for the enjoyment and appreciation of thousands of Australians,” she said.

Ms Chapman said the Bank’s partnership with the ACO was one of three national Arts partnerships for the Group, which included Opera Australia and Bangarra Dance Theatre.

The Australian Chamber Orchestra’s Artistic Director, Mr Richard Tognetti, said he was proud of the Orchestra’s long association with the Bank.

“When I started at the ACO in 1989, the Orchestra only had a handful of corporate supporters and we were in desperate need of committed companies who would be prepared to inject cash and help fuel some new ideas,” he said.

“My dream was to create a first-rate Australian Orchestra that could hold its own anywhere in the world. The Commonwealth Bank took a risk on my dreams and, 21 years on, we have one of the most fruitful corporate relationships I’ve ever seen.”

To find out more about the Bank’s support for the Arts, visit


For more information contact:

Holly Williams

Commonwealth Bank

Ph: (02) 9378 7130