Brave, bold and brilliant Queensland Symphony Orchestra celebrates 70th anniversary season with powerful music and international stars
Queensland Symphony Orchestra has unveiled Season 2017, the first under the acclaimed conductor Alondra de la Parra as Music Director, one that celebrates 70 years of music making for the state’s orchestra and a season that will welcome a star-studded roster of great soloists and conductors, many new to the QSO and Australia.
Brave, bold and adventurous, Season 2017 is a program of wild, powerful, beautiful and stunning orchestral music sourced from many traditions and styles. Led by 10 Maestro concerts and supported by special music events including Maxim Vengerov in Recital and Carmen In-Concert, Season 2017 also includes Morning Masterworks, Choral Series, Music on Sundays and the popular WorldBeat Concerts.
In a significant international coup, the incomparable and mighty master of the violin and conductor Maxim Vengerov has been announced as Artist-in-Residence. Together with the QSO he will present a series of extraordinary performances in February and November, from his Queensland-first solo concert hall recital, to a full scale performance of truly magnificent music, including one of his signature works, the great Brahms Violin Concerto.
Superstar composer Phillip Glass celebrates his 80th birthday in 2017 and QSO has partnered with international orchestras in Austria and Turkey to commission his long anticipated Symphony No. 11, a landmark event and Australian premiere. The concert also includes the Australian debut of the phenomenal Russian wunderkind Alexander Malofeev, performing Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto.
A 2017 standout and the season finale in November is Carmen In-Concert – the full opera, in concert with an international cast led by the internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano Vesselina Kasarova in her debut Australian performance and Italian tenor Andrea Caré, together with some of Australia’s best emerging artists, under the baton of Alondra de la Parra. Bizet’s Carmen is the world’s number one opera, and features some of the greatest arias and duets ever written; a fitting and spectacular end to QSO’s 70th anniversary year.
One of Brisbane’s favourite soloists, the internationally acclaimed pianist Piers Lane celebrates his 40th anniversary with the QSO in 2017, presenting his famed interpretation of the Moszkowski concerto together with Tchaikovsky and Dvořák under the baton of conductor Enrique Arturo Diemecke in October.
Two notable Australian debuts include Alexander Malofeev (mentioned above) – and Milos Karadaglić the world’s most popular guitarist, well known to Australian audiences through recordings and broadcasts, performing Howard Shore’s new Guitar Concerto, another Australian premiere in August.
Music Director Alondra de la Parra is also showcasing music from the Americas, with special introductions of masterpieces by her fellow Mexican composers, Revueltas and Márquez.
In celebrating QSO’s 70th anniversary, two much-loved former conductors in Johannes Fritzsch and Muhai Tang will once again lead the Orchestra in powerful Maestro concerts. In March, QSO welcomes Leslie Howard, the leading international Liszt specialist of our time to perform with Johannes Fritzsch, and in June celebrated Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan makes his Australian debut exclusively with QSO and Muhai Tang.
Opening the season on Saturday February 18, Alondra de la Parra presents the next instalment of her epic Mahler cycle, with Symphony No. 1 The Titan, a work of brilliance and extraordinary scale. She is joined by the exciting young Chinese pianist Zhang Zuo (Zee Zee) in her exclusive Australian debut performing Mendelssohn’s glittering jewel of a piano concerto. A feature of the evening will be Wagner’s Tannhäuser Overture, marking the start of the 70th anniversary celebrations of the QSO – this was the very first item performed at the QSO’s inaugural concert in 1947 in the Brisbane City Hall. It promises to be an evening of power, sparkle and spectacle, to perfectly set the tone for the season ahead.
Highlights continue with multi award-winning Spanish cellist Pablo Ferrández performing Haydn in May with the QSO under one of the most exciting American conductors Roberto Trevino. It will be the Australian debut for both. Also debuting in Australia exclusively with QSO is the much-applauded young Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki, dubbed the ‘aristocrat of the piano’, in August. The following month celebrated French violist Antoine Tamestit makes his Australian debut under conductor Darrell Ang.
In July, two internationally renowned Australians join forces in what will be a Maestro to remember. Ray Chen, acclaimed as one of the hottest violinists on the world circuit, with perform Paganini’s fiendishly difficult concerto No. 1 and Holst’s The Planets with Australian conductor, the famed Simone Young.
QSO’s WorldBeat series in 2017 will feature three concerts celebrating international themes including the Year of the Rooster concert on February 9 to mark Chinese New Year, America! the concert on April 27 and the much loved (Not) The Last Night of the Proms on August 31.
Season 2017 will also be the first for recently appointed Chief Executive, David Pratt who joins the company in September following 20 years of senior management experience in leadership roles across the performing arts, film and entertainment sectors in the United States and Australia.