It’s difficult to imagine a more complete violinist than Ilya Gringolts. And even harder to imagine a more perfect performance than the one he gave of Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto in G major, scaled down to fit the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

Born in Leningrad, as it then was, 40 years ago and trained by Itzhak Perlman at Juilliard, the Swiss-based virtuoso has steadily built a reputation for being “a violinist’s violinist”.

ACO Artistic Director Richard Tognetti was driving when he first heard him on the radio playing some Paganini and had to pull over to the side of the road.

So, in 2018 Gringolts was booked to tour with the ACO and his performance of Paganini and Vivaldi went off like a firecracker. Now he’s back for a sizzling opening to the orchestra’s 2023 season as guest director, one featuring four works that show both his versatility and consummate skill.

As ACO cellist Julian Thompson said of that previous tour, “he’d go out there and play like a complete god and then come out for a beer afterwards”.

Ilya Gringolts with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Photo supplied

The program he chose for his...