Richard Tognetti is an Australian violinist, composer and conductor. He was born in Canberra and raised in Wollongong. He is currently Artistic Director and Leader of the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Tognetti studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with Alice Waten and undertook post-graduate study at the Berne Conservatory with Igor Ozim, where he was awarded the Tschumi prize in 1989. On his return to Australia later that year the Board of the Australian Chamber Orchestra made him artistic director and lead violinist - at only 25 years of age. Under Tognetti's 18 years of leadership the orchestra has earned a reputation as one of the leading chamber orchestras in the world. The Times has gone so far as to say "This group must be the best chamber orchestra on earth". Tognetti is an extremely versatile violinist, performing on period, modern and electric instruments. For example with Australian rock musician Iva Davies, he co-wrote and performed on 31 December 1999 for an international millennium broadcast The Ghost of Time on electric violin, with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed with a number of different musicians from different genres. He has arranged the music of composers like Janáček, Szymanowski, Paganini, Beethoven, Ravel and Satie, greatly expanding the chamber orchestra repertoire. He also conducts opera, making his debut in the 2001 Sydney Festival, conducting Mozart’s Mitridate, di Ponto.