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Queensland Symphony Orchestra unveils Season 2021

QSO's Justin Bullock (Double Bass), Warwick Adeney (Concertmaster, violin), Kathryn Close (Cello) and Lauren Manuel (French Horn) _photo Sarah Marshall

Orchestral music is back in full force in 2021, with Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO) unveiling a season of 18 concerts, all to be performed in the Concert Hall at QPAC, including three commissioned world premieres and headlined by the acclaimed Maestro series; a collection of 10 world-class classical celebrations.

Soloists performing with the QSO in 2021 include the internationally acclaimed Piers Lane, didgeridoo artist William Barton, young violinist Grace Clifford, one of Australia’s leading woodwind players oboist Diana Doherty, organist Joseph Nolan, Australian sopranos Emma Pearson, Lorina Gore and Rebecca Cassidy (Opera Queensland Young Artist) and musical theatre star Simon Gleeson.

Queensland Symphony Orchestra musicians take centre stage in 2021 with solo performances for Concertmaster Warwick Adeney, Section Principal Flute Alison Mitchell, Section Principal Clarinet Irit Silver, Principal Tuba Thomas Allely and Acting Section Principal Cello Hyung Suk Bae.

Leading the conductor line-up in 2021 is the Orchestra’s celebrated Conductor Laureate Johannes Fritzsch, together with Australian conductor Dane Lam, Umberto Clerici, Elena Schwarz, Benjamin Northey, Max McBride, Alexander Briger, Benjamin Bayl, and hosting Music on Sundays, Guy Noble.

Celebrated conductor Ludovic Morlot joins the Orchestra as the only international artist for the season. Ludovic Morlot will make his Queensland Symphony Orchestra debut in 2021, conducting Song to Symphony in November and the Season Closing Gala, Four Last Songs, in December. Following eight years as Music Director, Ludovic Morlot is Conductor Emeritus of the Seattle Symphony.

Season 2021 opens on 6 February with a Special Event called QSO Favourites, celebrating favourite pieces from Beethoven to Bolero, and closes on 2 December with Four Last Songs. In between is a calendar of musical moments that stars premieres, movie music and classical warhorses ranging from Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, to Beethoven’s Symphony No.7 to the mighty Firebird by Stravinsky and more.

In an Orchestra first, three world premieres will be staged in 2021, commissioned by QSO and all by Australian composers.

Over the weekend of 30 April and 1 May, QSO musicians Irit Silver and Alison Mitchell, will perform a world premiere double concerto for flute, clarinet and orchestra, by Australian composer Gordon Kerry during the Pictures at an Exhibition performances.

In June, Epic Sounds will feature the world premiere of a new work by acclaimed Australian didgeridoo player and composer William Barton. The sound of this majestic instrument will fill the concert hall, in a performance that also features Wagner’s dramatic Overture to The Flying Dutchman and the Symphony No.5 by Sibelius.

In September, Queensland’s Finest will feature three of Queensland’s brightest musicians, together for the first time. Conducted by Dane Lam, acclaimed both here and overseas, this performance includes the world premiere of a new composition by young composer, Sebastian Lingane, who was the winner of QSO’s 2019 Compose Program. They are joined by Queensland pianist Jayson Gillham who won the Montreal International Music Competition in 2014, performing Beethoven’s Fourth Concerto.

There is plenty to offer outside the classical world as well. The extraordinarily popular Cinematic, a concert featuring a mix of blockbuster movie music returns, and Australian singer and actor Simon Gleeson joins soprano Lorina Gore in the Musical Theatre Gala, featuring some of the most-loved show tunes from Broadway to West End, while classical works inspired by Shakespeare’s plays will prove a blockbuster, featuring Mendelssohn’s iconic music for A Midsummer Night’s Dream through to Prokofiev’s extraordinary ballet music for Romeo and Juliet.

Season 2021 will also see Queensland Symphony Orchestra again travel throughout Queensland to perform, educate and inspire. In 2019, QSO worked with 125 schools and over 13,000 school students across the state. Of these, 7,000 were students outside the Brisbane metropolitan area. The regional touring program is an important part of the QSO’s commitment as the state orchestra.

The Orchestra’s Young Instrumentalist Prize proves every year that Queensland is a wealth of young musical talent and will take place in 2021, ensuring that the future of music is in excellent hands.

Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s Chief Executive Craig Whitehead said the Orchestra was excited for Season 2021 after what has been an incredibly challenging year for every orchestra, every musician, and every music lover around the world.

“During 2020, we have been extremely disappointed that we have been unable to deliver live concerts to the people of Queensland, however we’ve created a fantastic range of online content from musicians’ homes, backyards, parks and playgrounds, playing all sorts of music, from Bach to Baby Shark, an epic anthem collaboration with the Gold Coast SUNS and the Brisbane Lions and of course at the AFL Grand Final,” he said. We know that nothing can stop the music of QSO and our Season 2021 will celebrate all that is joyous, uplifting and new. The diverse line-up for 2021 shows again Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s commitment to being an Orchestra for Everyone.”

Concertmaster Warwick Adeney said the musicians have deeply missed performing for audiences. “As I reflect on the past year, I am struck by how universal our experience has been. We have each encountered frustration, sadness, and longing. For us at QSO, we were devastated to miss so much of our planned 2020 concert season. There is no doubt it has been a challenging time, and yet amidst the yearning to fill the concert hall again, we have told new stories, and explored new ways of making and sharing music,” he said.

“In 2021 we invite you to join us and take your seat in the concert hall once again. Our season will be a celebration of live performance, and its power to inspire us and draw us together.”


Monday 16 November from 9am - packages on sale

Monday 14 December from 9am - single tickets on sale to all concerts


Online -

Box Office - 07 3833 5044

In Person - ABC Brisbane building, 114 Grey Street, South Brisbane Q 4101

Post - QSO Box Office, GPO Box 9994 Brisbane Q 4001


Special Event: QSO Favourites - Beethoven to Bolero SAT 6 FEB 3PM & 7.30PM at the Concert Hall, QPAC Conductor Dane Lam PROGRAM INCLUDES MOZART Overture from The Marriage of Figaro BEETHOVEN Symphony No.7 in A, mvt 2: Allegretto TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No.5 in E minor, mvt 3: Valse: Allegro moderato GERSHWIN An American in Paris DVOŘÁK Symphony No.9 in E minor (From the New World), mvt 2: Largo RAVEL Bolero

Friday Night + Maestro: Arabian Nights - Music of Love and Intrigue FRI 19 FEB 7.30PM | SAT 20 FEB 3PM & 7.30PM at the Concert Hall, QPAC Conductor Johannes Fritzsch


Music on Sundays: Musical Landscapes - Evocative Scenic Melodies SUN 28 FEB 11AM & 3PM at the Concert Hall, QPAC Conductor Umberto Clerici Host Guy Noble Soloist Warwick Adeney, violin PROGRAM INCLUDES MENDELSSOHN The Hebrides (Fingal’s Cave) BEETHOVEN Symphony No.6 in F (Pastoral), mvt 4: Thunderstorm J. STRAUSS, JR On the Beautiful Blue Danube VAUGHAN WILLIAMS The Lark Ascending GRIEG Suite No.1 from Peer Gynt, mvt 1: Morning and mvt 4: In the Hall of the Mountain King SMETANA The Moldau from Má vlast

Morning Masterworks + Maestro: Firebird - An Instrumental Spectacular FRI 19 MAR 11AM | SAT 20 MAR 3PM & 7.30PM at the Concert Hall, QPAC Conductor Elena Schwarz Soloist Piers Lane, piano

PROGRAM WEBER Overture from Der Freischütz LISZT Piano Concerto No.1 in E flat STRAVINSKY Suite from The Firebird (1919 version)

Friday Nights + Maestro: Enigma - A Musical Tour de Force FRI 9 APR 7.30PM | SAT 10 APR 3PM & 7.30PM at the Concert Hall, QPAC Conductor Johannes Fritzsch Soloist Joseph Nolan, organ

PROGRAM INCLUDES POULENC Organ Concerto in G minor ELGAR Enigma Variations

Special Event: Cinematic - Heroes and Heroines SAT 24 APR 3PM & 7.30PM at the Concert Hall, QPAC Conductor & Host Nicholas Buc


DUKAS The Sorcerer’s Apprentice DESPLAT The Imitation Game

Morning Masterworks + Maestro: Pictures at an Exhibition - Musical Vignettes FRI 30 APR 11AM | SAT 1 MAY 3PM & 7.30PM at the Concert Hall, QPAC Conductor Benjamin Northey Soloist Alison Mitchell, flute Soloist Irit Silver, clarinet PROGRAM RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Overture from May Night KERRY Sinfonia Concertante for Flute, Clarinet and Orchestra (World Premiere) Commissioned by the late Marena Manzoufas MUSSORGSKY (arr. Ravel) Pictures at an Exhibition

Music on Sundays: Shakespearean Classics - Music Inspired by the Bard SUN 9 MAY 11AM & 3PM at the Concert Hall, QPAC Conductor Max McBride Host Guy Noble Soloist Rebecca Cassidy, soprano (Opera Queensland Young Artist)

PROGRAM INCLUDES BEETHOVEN Overture from Coriolan MENDELSSOHN Music from A Midsummer Night’s Dream PROKOFIEV Music from Romeo and Juliet TCHAIKOVSKY Hamlet; Fantasy Overture after Shakespeare SCHUBERT Who is Sylvia? (Was ist Sylvia?), D.891 VERDI Piangea cantando (Willow Song) from Otello

Special Event: Musical Theatre Gala - Broadway to West End SAT 15 MAY 3PM & 7.30PM at the Concert Hall, QPAC Conductor & Host Guy Noble Soloist Lorina Gore, soprano Soloist Simon Gleeson, tenor



Morning Masterworks + Maestro: Mozart and Brahms - Music to Soothe Your Soul FRI 28 MAY 11AM | SAT 29 MAY 3PM & 7.30PM at the Concert Hall, QPAC Conductor Alexander Briger Soloist Diana Doherty, oboe

PROGRAM MOZART Oboe Concerto in C, K.314 BRAHMS Symphony No.2 in D

Friday Nights + Maestro: Epic Sounds - Music that Soars FRI 25 JUN 7.30PM | SAT 26 JUN 3PM & 7.30PM at the Concert Hall, QPAC Conductor Benjamin Northey Soloist William Barton, didgeridoo

PROGRAM WAGNER Overture from The Flying Dutchman BARTON New Work (World Premiere) Commissioned by Queensland Symphony Orchestra through the support of Justice Anthe Philippides SIBELIUS Symphony No.5 in E flat

Music on Sundays: Great Inventions - Music of Surprise and Delight SUN 25 JUL 11AM & 3PM at the Concert Hall, QPAC Conductor Benjamin Bayl Host Guy Noble Soloist Thomas Allely, tuba

PROGRAM INCLUDES HAYDN Creation Part 1, Representation of Chaos HAYDN Symphony No.101 in D (The Clock), mvt 2 BEETHOVEN Symphony No.8, mvt 2 RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Capriccio espagnol SAMUEL JONES Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra DEBUSSY (arr. Caplet) Pagodes from Estampes

Morning Masterworks + Maestro: Breathtaking Tchaikovsky - Passion and Tragedy FRI 6 AUG 11AM | SAT 7 AUG 3PM & 7.30PM at the Concert Hall, QPAC Conductor Johannes Fritzsch

PROGRAM INCLUDES TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No.6 in B minor (Pathétique)

Music on Sundays: Around the World - An Orchestral Globetrot SUN 29 AUG 11AM & 3PM at the Concert Hall, QPAC Conductor & Host Guy Noble

PROGRAM INCLUDES SIBELIUS Finlandia SCULTHORPE Small Town COPLAND Fanfare for the Common Man RAVEL Pavane for a Dead Princess DVOŘÁK Slavonic Dances Op.72, No.7 HANDEL Overture from Royal Fireworks Music HISAISHI My Neighbor Totoro

Morning Masterworks + Maestro: Queensland’s Finest - A Trio of Talent FRI 3 SEP 11AM | SAT 4 SEP 3PM & 7.30PM at the Concert Hall, QPAC Conductor Dane Lam Soloist Jayson Gillham, piano

PROGRAM SEBASTIAN LINGANE New Work (World Premiere) Commissioned by Queensland Symphony Orchestra BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No.4 in G R. STRAUSS Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks (Till Eulenspiegel's lustige Streiche)

Friday Nights + Maestro: Beethoven and Sibelius - Musical Masterpieces FRI 1 OCT 7.30PM | SAT 2 OCT 3PM & 7.30PM at the Concert Hall, QPAC

Conductor Alexander Briger Soloist Grace Clifford, violin

PROGRAM SIBELIUS Violin Concerto in D minor BEETHOVEN Symphony No.7 in A

Music on Sundays: Song to Symphony - Inspirational Folk Melodies SUN 28 NOV 11AM & 3PM at the Concert Hall, QPAC Conductor Ludovic Morlot Host Guy Noble Soloist Hyung Suk Bae, cello

PROGRAM INCLUDES BARTÓK Hungarian Sketches DEBUSSY Excerpts from The Toy Box

BRAHMS Academic Festival Overture COPLAND Simple Gifts from Appalachian Spring DVOŘÁK Silent Wood for Cello and Orchestra

Friday Nights + Maestro: Four Last Songs - Season Closing Gala FRI 3 DEC 7.30PM | SAT 4 DEC 3PM & 7.30PM at the Concert Hall, QPAC Conductor Ludovic Morlot Soloist Emma Pearson, soprano

PROGRAM R. STRAUSS Four Last Songs DEBUSSY La Mer (The Sea)


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