#SheReviews – Qld Symphony Orchestra: Heartland Classics

October 19, 2023

Our pre-concert talk. by Dr Anne Levitsky, lecturer at The University of Queensland’s School of Music was a perfect introduction to what became a wonderful and emotional musical journey with Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s (QSO)-Heartland Classics

Following our informative insight into the stories behind the music we had a half-hour break before the concert began.

The program consisted of Zoltan Kodaly (1882-1967) Dances of Galanta, Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847), Concerto in E minor for Violin & Orchestra and Antonin Dvorak’s (1841-1904) Symphony No.7 in D minor.

Guest Artists:

Apart from our outstanding regular QSO team of musicians the highlight for everyone was undoubtedly, witnessing two gifted guest musicians dominate the auditorium. 

Dutch Conductor Otto Tausk and Armenian-born violinist Sergey Khachatryan were overwhelming. 

Otto Tausk is now in his sixth season as the Music Director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) and Artistic Advisor of the VSO School of Music. He has proven extraordinary artistic leadership within his community and is a passionate believer that the concert is a shared experience between the performers and the audience. His inclusive approach was physically evident this week with his artistic animation as he conducted his team of performers. I found his performance as a conductor magnetic. His experience is worldwide, diverse and extensive.

Sergey Khachatryan walked onto the stage violin in hand and humbly began to play. From the moment he placed his bow on the strings and glided it across each string, we were mesmerized. His flexible left hand moved at such a rapid pace I was in awe. He was lost in the world of Mendelssohn’s Concerto in E Minor, as were we the audience. He was breathtaking and within minutes I wished I had tissue in hand to wipe away the tears. Born in 1985, Sergey stood out early in his classical music career by winning First Prize at the VIII International Jean Sibelius Competition in Helsinki in 2000. This win made him the youngest-ever winner in the history of the competition, followed by claiming the First Prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels in 2005. Since 1913 he has lived in Germany where he had his first orchestral concert at the age of nine. His credits and prizes are extraordinary with recent appearances in the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Canada, and Europe. 

Thank you, QSO 

It wasn’t just me that walked out of QPAC’s Concert Hall feeling overwhelmed, and enormously appreciative. People were chatting from the moment they left their seats, in the lift, over post-concert coffee. Strangers sharing their love and appreciation of an incredible performance. 


Another highlight was the farewelling of long-term violinist Brynley White after 36 years with QSO. He always played with such gusto and by the response from his fellow musicians and the audience, his friendly and positive personality will be missed.

Season 2024

QSO’s 2024 Season Program “Sounds like Queensland” has been released and is now on sale. Our Chief Conductor Umberto Mahler introduces us to another year of interconnected programs in which each concert has a clear and unique storyline that develops through a unified arc. The repertoire for 2024 will centre on Romanticism.  For more information either pop into QPAC for a program or visit online  https://qso.com.au/tickets/2024-packages 

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.