Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s 2021 Season

February 15, 2021

QSO Launch


Three world premieres and a program to celebrate joy with Piers Lane, William Barton, Jayson Gillham, Grace Clifford and more to join QSO musicians in a year of incredible music 

Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO) is ready for 2021 – performing back in the Concert Hall at QPAC a program that includes three commissioned world premieres, headlined by the acclaimed Maestro series which is collection of 10 world-class classical celebrations.  This is in addition to the QSO’s touring program, the popular Rehearsal Series, the education and school program and of course the off-site program of ensemble appearances. 

Soloists performing with the QSO in 2021 include one of the greatest pianists Queensland has ever produced in the internationally acclaimed Piers Lane, revered didgeridoo artist William Barton, dynamic 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

QSO 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 Dane Lam, Umberto Clerici, Elena Schwarz, Benjamin Northey, Max McBride, Alexander Briger, Benjamin Bayl, and of course hosting Music on Sundays the irrepressible Guy Noble.  Celebrated conductor Ludovic Morlot makes his QSO debut as the only international artist for the season. 

BOOKING DETAIL: Online – qso.com.au    Box Office – 07 3833 5044


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

RAVEL La valse

One of the most thrilling spins on the time-honoured The Arabian Nights tales is Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s symphonic suite Scheherazade. The title is the name of a Persian queen who tells stories night after night to her controlling Sultan husband to keep herself alive. Scheherazade herself is represented by the poignant sound of a solo violin, while the massed orchestra conjure up tales of adventure, fun, and mystery. Under Conductor Laureate Johannes Fritzsch  this concert also features Ravel’s impressionistic take on the waltz, La valse.


Music on Sundays: Musical LandscapesEvocative Scenic Melodies
SUN 28 FEB 11AM & 3PM at the Concert Hall, QPAC
Conductor Umberto Clerici
Host Guy Noble
Soloist Warwick Adeney, violin
MENDELSSOHN The Hebrides (Fingal’s Cave)
BEETHOVEN Symphony No.6 in F (Pastoral), mvt 4: Thunderstorm
J. STRAUSS, JR On the Beautiful Blue Danube
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

The natural world inspired many composers to create their greatest music. Felix Mendelssohn visited the Scottish island of Staff in 1829 and was struck with the majestic sea cave known as Fingal’s Cave. Instantly, the sound of the rolling waves and the isolation of the location inspired him to write one of his most popular works, The Hebrides. Starting with this majestic overture, Queensland Symphony Orchestra will lead the audience through a series of evocative classical works that have drawn their inspiration from nature.


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

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

We are privileged to host one of the greatest pianists Queensland has ever produced, Piers Lane, to perform Franz Liszt’s monumental first concerto for piano and orchestra, a spectacular showcase for pianist and orchestral musicians alike. The concert finishes with a suite of music from Stravinsky’s ballet The Firebird


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

POULENC Organ Concerto in G minor
ELGAR Enigma Variations
It can sometimes be dangerous to be friends with a composer! In 1899, English composer Edward Elgar created his Enigma Variations, a set of variations on the one melody, with each one representing a different friend of his. From his wife to his music publisher, each friend was immortalised in music as their different personalities shone through. This piece has never lost popularity, especially with the moving and powerful ‘Nimrod’ variation. We’re also delighted to showcase the majestic QPAC organ and soloist Joseph Nolan, in Poulenc’s mighty Concerto.


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

GIACCHINO The Incredibles
SILVESTRI The Avengers
TOPRAK Captain Marvel
ROWLAND The Man From Snowy River

DUKAS The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
DESPLAT The Imitation Game

Our signature Cinematic concert returns for another year! Cinematic presents an evocative mix of music from the movies, with a bit of classical thrown in. Themed Heroes and Heroines – it’s a tribute to heroic characters, big and small, super and ordinary, across the ages. From blockbuster classical to blockbuster films, you’ll hear why – when it comes to music of action and inspiration – there is nothing more powerful than a live symphony orchestra.


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
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

Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition was a series of pieces for piano based on a famous set of paintings. The paintings themselves were small but the sounds that Mussorgsky created were so big, it wasn’t long before fellow composer Maurice Ravel arranged them into an aurally spectacular version for orchestra. As an added highlight, we’re delighted to feature two of our Orchestra’s musicians Irit Silver and Alison Mitchell, performing a world premiere double concerto for flute, clarinet and orchestra, by Australian composer Gordon Kerry. Presented in association with QPAC.


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)

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

In this concert, hear a selection of the most powerful and enjoyable works inspired by Shakespeare’s plays from Mendelssohn’s iconic music for A Midsummer Night’s Dream through to Prokofiev’s extraordinary ballet music for Romeo and Juliet. Presented in association with Opera Queensland.


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

LLOYD WEBER The Phantom of the Opera
SCHÖNBERG Les Misérables


Featuring award-winning Australian soprano Lorina Gore and acclaimed performer Simon Gleeson with the full power of a large orchestra, you will be treated to music from Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables, Chess, Frozen and much, much more from the great musicals of the 20th and 21st century. This concert will also feature two emerging Musical Theatre soloists from the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University.

Presented in association with Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University.


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

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

There are times when we want orchestral music to take us on journeys that are dramatic and stormy, but then there are times when we crave the opposite. Brahms had proved he could do the former with his majestic First Symphony and then set out to do the latter in his Symphony No.2. His music will soothe your ears and your heart. Serene and glowing, it is a masterpiece designed to lift your spirits. It’s also a perfect match for the Mozart Oboe Concerto in C, performed by Diana Doherty, one of Australia’s greatest woodwind players.


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

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

QSO presents the 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 mighty Fifth Symphony by Sibelius. Presented in association with QPAC.


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

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

In this entertaining concert, QSO features music by the great composers, each one marked by a unique attempt to try something different. For instance, Beethoven wrote the second movement of his Eighth Symphony to sound like an invention of his day – the metronome! Haydn also was inspired by the mechanical world – his famous Symphony No. 101 has a delightful ticking melody in the second movement that earned it the nickname ‘The Clock’. Debussy sought to mimic the sound of Indonesian Gamelan music in his 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

TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No.6 in B minor (Pathétique)

Nine days before the great Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky died, he premiered his last great symphony – the Symphony No.6. It is known as the ‘Passionate’ symphony in Russian or the rather more tragic ‘Pathétique’ in French. Conducted by QSO Conductor Laureate Johannes Fritzsch, this will be an unforgettable experience for everyone in the concert hall.


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

SIBELIUS Finlandia
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
QSO’s irrepressible host and conductor Guy Noble will take your around the world with music from every corner of the globe. You’ll imagine the icy beauty of Finland as Sibelius’ Finlandia rings in your ears, enjoy a fireworks show with an English monarch and feel the magic of Totoro, one of Japan’s most-loved animated characters, and more!


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

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)

This concert is a showcase of three of Queensland’s brightest musicians, featured together for the first time. Conducted by Dane Lam, acclaimed both here and overseas, this performance includes a brand-new composition by talented young composer, Sebastian Lingane, who was the winner of QSO’s 2019 Compose Program.  They are joined by Australian pianist Jayson Gillham who won the Montreal International Music Competition in 2014, performing Beethoven’s Fourth Concerto with “absorbing and relentless elegance” (Montreal Gazette). He has only grown in stature as an interpreter of Beethoven’s piano concertos since. You can also enjoy Richard Strauss’ tone poem Till Eulenspiegel – a musical tale of a mischief-maker represented with equally mischievous music.

Presented by Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Brisbane Festival. Presented in association with QPAC.


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

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

Australian violinist Grace Clifford will take you to the world of Jean Sibelius with his finger-busting and evocative Violin Concerto. This will be followed by the one and only ‘Beethoven 7’, a piece with such infectious rhythms and powerful emotions that you only need to hear it once to be swept away by it. This is a must-see concert in our 2021 season.


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

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
QSO’s final Music on Sundays concert for the year features a program of music inspired by folk songs – Brahms’ famous Academic Festival Overture, a joyous medley of drinking songs arranged for orchestra, Copland’s superb rendering of the tune ‘Simple Gifts’ in his Appalachian Spring, and Dvořák’s lyrical Silent Wood, presented in a gorgeous arrangement for cello and orchestra, featuring QSO cellist Hyung Suk Bae.


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

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

At the age of 84, shortly before Richard Strauss died, he took four poems and set them to music. These songs for soprano and orchestra went on to become known as Strauss’ Four Last Songs. Performed by Australian soprano Emma Pearson, there is no better way we could finish off our concert year. The concert also features one of Debussy’s great masterpieces, La Mer, an invocation of the sea so strong, you can smell the salt and hear the waves.

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