The Australian Chamber Orchestra is the beneficiary of the largesse of Peter Weiss AO, one of Australia’s most dedicated arts philanthropists and a successful businessman. He has donated to the ensemble an exceptionally fine and extremely rare cello. Made by Giuseppe Guarneri filius Andreæ in 1729, the cello is valued at A$1,800,000. This is the biggest single gift in the ACO’s history.
Peter Weiss’ passion for music stems from his life-long love of the cello, and in 2007, this love inspired him to purchase the Guarneri cello, which he made available on permanent loan to the ACO for use by Principal Cello, Timo-Veikko Valve.
On playing the Guarneri cello, Timo-Veikko Valve says “The inspiration I have received from the cello can be heard in my concerts and recordings all over the world. Looking back now I think I would be struggling without it.”
Mr Weiss describes his philanthropy as “instinctive”. His support for the projects he loves comes from an absolute belief that the projects will have long lasting effects and will resonate through the years. Mr Weiss says “At this stage of my life, I feel I would be happier for the ACO to own the cello rather than me.” Such a gesture helps guarantee Australia’s cultural legacy, and is of benefit to the wider Australian community.
The ACO has enjoyed the privilege of Mr Weiss’ company, friendship and support for over twenty-five years in a variety of important capacities.
The Guarneri cello can next be seen in performance when Timo-Veikko Valve performs the Vivaldi Cello Concerto in E minor in the ACO Soloists concert, touring 6 -19 October, 2016.