Queensland Symphony Orchestra

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Queensland Symphony Orchestra
QSO Studios in South Bank
Former nameThe Queensland Orchestra
Founded1947; 77 years ago (1947)
LocationBrisbane, Australia
Concert hallQueensland Performing Arts Centre
Principal conductorUmberto Clerici

Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO) is an Australian symphony orchestra in the state of Queensland. The orchestra is based in the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's building in South Bank. The Orchestra is funded by private corporations, the state government and the Australian federal government through the Australia Council.


Queensland Symphony Orchestra played its first concert on 26 March 1947, consisting of 45 musicians, conducted by Percy Code.[1] John Farnsworth Hall was recruited from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra as the Orchestra's first Chief Conductor. The Orchestra played concerts in various Queensland cities and towns, such as Innisfail and Townsville, travelling up to 3500 miles a year in the process.[2]

During the first part of its history, the QSO's longest-serving Chief Conductor was Rudolf Pekárek (1954–1967). In 1988, Vladimir Kamirski was appointed Chief Guest Conductor. Muhai Tang was Chief Conductor from 1991 to 2001.

In 2001, QSO was merged with Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra, to form The Queensland Orchestra (TQO).[1][3] Michael Christie was the first Chief Conductor of the Orchestra under its new name, from 2001 to 2004. In July 2007, Johannes Fritzsch was named the next Chief Conductor of TQO, beginning in January 2008, with an initial contract through 2010.[3] On 14 October 2009, the orchestra announced its intention to revert to its former name of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, effective in 2010.[4] In February 2010, the orchestra announced a three-year extension of Fritzsch's contract as Chief Conductor, through 2013.[5] Fritzsch stood down as QSO chief conductor at the end of 2014,[6] and subsequently took the title of Conductor Laureate of Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

In May 2015, Alondra de la Parra made her first guest-conducting appearance with the Orchestra.[7] In October 2015, the orchestra announced the appointment of de la Parra as its first-ever music director and first-ever female conductor in its principal conducting post, effective in 2017.[8] De la Parra completed her tenure as music director at the end of the 2019 season. In February 2021, the QSO announced the return of Fritzsch to the orchestra as its new principal conductor and artistic adviser, with a contract until 2023.[9][10]

In 2021, Umberto Clerici made three guest-conducting appearances with the QSO. In May 2022, the QSO announced the appointment of Clerici as its next chief conductor, effective 1 January 2023, with an initial contract of three years.[11] In parallel, Fritzsch took the title of principal guest conductor in 2023, and is scheduled to resume his post as conductor laureate in 2024.[12]

The QSO's discography includes Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, and several works of Benjamin Frankel, including his eight symphonies, violin concerto, viola concerto, and several film score suites.

Performance venues[edit]

Most of the Orchestra's performances take place in Brisbane at three venues:

In addition, the orchestra tours other parts of the state of Queensland regularly, including the following locations:

Chief conductors[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

ARIA Music Awards[edit]

The ARIA Music Awards is an annual awards ceremony that recognises excellence, innovation, and achievement across all genres of Australian music. They commenced in 1987.

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
1999 Ariel's Music (with Paul Dean and Richard Mills) Best Classical Album Nominated [13]
2004 Sculthorpe: Songs of Sea and Sky (with William Barton) Nominated
2006 Piano Concertos: Tchaikovsky, Grieg (with Simon Tedeschi & Richard Bonynge) Nominated
Rodrigo Guitar Concertos (with Slava Grigoryan, Leonard Grigoryan & Brett Kelly) Nominated
2016 Gallipoli Symphony Best Original Soundtrack, Cast or Show Album Nominated [14]


  1. ^ a b Martin Buzacott (23 March 2007). "Proud history lives on". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 28 March 2008.
  2. ^ "Beethoven in the Bush". Time. 28 July 1958. Retrieved 30 March 2008.(subscription required)
  3. ^ a b Rosemary Sorensen (17 July 2007). "Conductor aims for the soul". The Australian. Retrieved 27 March 2008.
  4. ^ "State Orchestra Takes A Key Change and Announces Her Excellency Ms Penelope Wensley AO, Governor of Queensland as Patron" (PDF) (Press release). The Queensland Orchestra. 14 October 2009. Retrieved 19 February 2010.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Chief Conductor for QSO: Queensland Symphony Orchestra Announces Three-Year Contract Extension for Chief Conductor Johannes Fritzsch" (PDF) (Press release). The Queensland Orchestra. 18 February 2010. Retrieved 19 February 2010.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Natalie Bochenski (4 September 2013). "Sweet symphony for orchestra in 2014". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
  7. ^ Matthew Westwood (24 October 2015). "QSO's Alondra de la Parra: first woman to head a state orchestra". The Australian. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  8. ^ "Queensland Symphony Orchestra announces acclaimed Conductor Alondra de la Parra as Music Director" (Press release). Queensland Symphony Orchestra. 23 October 2015. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  9. ^ "Maestro Johannes Fritzsch named Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser of Queensland Symphony Orchestra" (Press release). Queensland Symphony Orchestra. 19 February 2021. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  10. ^ Jo Litson (20 February 2021). "Johannes Fritzsch named as QSO's new Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser". Limelight Magazine. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  11. ^ "Umberto Clerici named Chief Conductor of Queensland Symphony Orchestra from 2023" (Press release). Queensland Symphony Orchestra. 27 May 2022. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  12. ^ Hugh Robertson (27 May 2022). "Umberto Clerici appointed Chief Conductor of QSO". Limelight Magazine. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  13. ^ ARIA Award previous winners. "ARIA Awards – Winners by Award". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  14. ^ ARIA Award previous winners. "History Best Original Soundtrack, Cast or Show Album". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 16 July 2022.

External links[edit]