Social Impact

Australian Chamber Orchestra

Improving planning for the future

The Australian Chamber Orchestra is a 17-piece string ensemble renowned for its inspired programming and unrivalled virtuosity, energy and individuality. Founded in 1975, the orchestra is extremely innovative, balancing traditional performances with multimedia projects . Rare for an orchestra, the ACO has been able to more than cover costs after ticket sales and donations, with profit reinvested in activities of the orchestra – which include player development, instruments, but also educational and community activities.

The team from Oliver Wyman was very responsiveto our particular industry and organizational requirements and worked collaboratively with us to produce a very comprehensive tool, which will help the ACO plan our national and international touring with both greater ease and greater understanding. Such understanding is tremendously empowering for our organization
Alexandra Cameron-Fraser, Chief Operating Officer, Austrialian Chamber Orchestra


Oliver Wyman came into contact with the ACO through a landmark report on funding models written for the Association of US Orchestras. This caught the attention of ACO leadership, as they wished to improve their management of forward planning, including the complex choices of programming requirements, travel, artist, and venues. We agreed to help them by building a planning approach that would help them evaluate these multiple trade-offs. Hence, by combining the ACO’s understanding of artistic interest and audience demand with their historical data, we would assist them to better forecast likely outcomes of different scheduling choices.

It’s great to see how much difference our commercial skills can so quickly bring to support a pillar of the national Arts community
Patrick Howell-Day, Associate, Oliver Wyman


Over the course of a few weeks we built for the ACO a planning tool that will help them manage this process. Our approach drew upon years of their data, including over 100,000 ticket sales per year, hundreds of concerts and cities visited, with detailed data from the most recent of over 50 international tours. We were able to produce tour-level revenue and cost estimates based on features of programme design – for example genre, number of players, venues – even down to individual cities and concert halls. As the ACO moves into the next phase of its development, they will be able to plan their future with even more confidence, and thus take their contribution to culture and musical education to the next level

It’s been great through this to learn about the hidden sides of colleagues – so many of whom are passionate about music – and be able to give back in a way that marries our skills and interests
David Howard Jones, Partner, Oliver Wyman