Epic symphonies from the classical canon, world premieres by Australian composers, and concerts that joyously celebrate modern music-makers headline Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s 2022 Season. It’s a season that shines the spotlight on its own with spine-tingling solos, and promises special moments for music lovers of all ages, across all of Queensland as the Orchestra celebrates 75 music-filled years.
The 2022 Season stars 10 Maestro concerts, five Morning Masterworks, five Music on Sunday concerts, six Studio Sessions, six Special Events and a full regional touring program and education series; a joyous, celebratory, breathtaking and awe-inspiring program; one that is also poignantly reflective of the challenges of the past 18 months.
2022 is also the Orchestra’s 75th anniversary and this milestone will be marked with QSO’s refreshingly real Queensland music-making, and more concerts than ever before, from intimate chamber performances to iconic classics in the Concert Hall. This important occasion with allow the organisation to celebrate with a series of events throughout the year.
Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser Johannes Fritzsch, who worked collaboratively with QSO’s Concertmasters Warwick Adeney and Natsuko Yoshimoto, Director – Artistic Planning Timothy Matthies and the Artistic team, and the Artistic Committee on curating Season 2022, Said:
The program traverses a diverse musical landscape, and was created to take audiences on a breathtaking journey powered by music. “Along this musical journey our audiences will meet soloists and conductors who will serve as tour guides, pointing out musical sights and sounds. We believe in the power of live performance to create beautiful, life-affirming experiences and in 2022, we invite you to take your seat and experience the magic for yourself.”
There’s music from the great classical composers from Brahms and Beethoven, Mozart to Strauss (both Richard and Johann Jr!), Shostakovich, Schubert, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov, and 20 works from Australian composers, half of whom are Queensland born, raised, or a resident.
Works by established composers, including Cathy Milliken, Brett Dean and Nigel Westlake, sit alongside works by the next generation including Melody Eötvös, Lachlan Skipworth, Harry Sdraulig and Andrew Howes. And the Orchestra honours the role of two pioneering 20th century artists, Miriam Hyde and Margaret Sutherland. Two new works by Nicole Murphy and Joe Twist for the QSO Connect 13-piece ensemble will also premiere across the state next year.
In 2022, Principal Conductor Johannes Fritzsch leads the Orchestra in seven concerts. Sharing the baton across the year are Umberto Clerici who wowed audiences with QSO earlier this year, as well as talented American conductor Jonathan Stockhammer; Music Director of the Auckland Philharmonia Giordano Bellincampi; Israeli conductor, pianist and Principal Conductor of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra Asher Fisch; Swiss-Australian conductor Elena Schwarz; composer, conductor, and arranger Nicholas Buc; Australian-Chinese conductor Dane Lam; and Benjamin Northey, Limelight Magazine’s 2018 Australian Artist of the Year.
Visiting soloists include Australian pianist Daniel de Borah who has performed to great applause with QSO, Armenian cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan, Uzbek pianist Behzod Abduraimov, from the UK violin master Jack Liebeck, and in a major coup violinist/conductor Guy Braunstein who was the youngest violinist ever appointed as concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic.
Opening the season is the second annual QSO Favourites event, which will feature a brand new work from composer Craig Allister Young to celebrate the Orchestra’s 75th birthday. In November, a very exciting concert will see the world premiere of a concerto for double bass and orchestra written especially for QSO’s dynamic Section Principal Double Bass, Phoebe Russell by Queensland composer Paul Dean.
A standout special event in April will celebrate the 90th birthday of the master of movie music: John Williams. The concert will feature the epic fanfares of Star Wars, the swirling magic of Harry Potter, the adventure of Indiana Jones, the poignancy of Schindler’s List and more conducted by Nicholas Buc.
Highlights of the acclaimed Maestro Series include two concerts celebrating Mozart – arguably one of the most gifted musicians in the history of classical music – with Mozart’s Clarinet starring QSO Section Principal Clarinet Irit Silver in April. This concert also includes the Australian composer Melody Eötvös’ stunning composition The Saqqara Bird. In May, the Orchestra will stage one of Mozart’s most iconic works – his beloved Requiem. This concert spectacular will feature four outstanding soloists – Sara Macliver, Fiona Campbell, Andrew Goodwin, and James Clayton – alongside the Brisbane Chamber Choir.
There is also the Australian premiere of Brisbane-born, Berlin-based composer Cathy Milliken’s Piece 43 For Now, written (in her words) in response to “the rollercoaster months for me in the six months since the announcement of lockdown in March 2020”. This work recently took out the Large Ensemble Work of the Year award at the 2021 Art Music Awards.
Other Australian music to be featured is the Queensland premiere of composer Lachlan Skipworth’s Hinterland, the Queensland premiere of Andrew Howes’ Luminifera – Wild Light for Orchestra, and music from Elena Kats-Chernin and Nigel Westlake.
In March, QSO Concertmaster Natsuko Yoshimoto will lead the Orchestra through not one, but two musical interpretations of The Four Seasons in an absolute must-see performance, and in July the Orchestra welcomes one of the most sought-after young tenors in the world: Kang Wang. The Australian-Chinese singer is a rising star in the opera world and joins with conductor Giordano Bellincampi and QSO to perform some of the most moving tenor arias of all time, including Puccini’s Nessun Dorma from Turandot.
The Music on Sundays series includes concerts hosted by the irrepressible Guy Noble, with titles including Dance Around the World, Heroes and Revolutionaries, Fantasy and Folklore, and Viennese Classics. Six Studio Sessions allows music fans to experience the extraordinary talent of QSO musicians up close in their home studio at South Bank.
Concertmaster Natsuko Yoshimoto said QSO would perform all over the state next year, in a wonderful continuation of the Orchestra’s famed commitment to sharing music with all Queenslanders.
In 2022 we will continue our commitment to reaching more people across Queensland with the joy of live music. We will venture into classrooms and town halls in regional centres and remote communities. We will play alongside young musicians, and seek to inspire their creativity and ambition. Sometimes it is here, away from the bright lights of the stage, that we feel our impact most.
In addition to our on-the ground touring, we will continue to produce digital performances for those who can’t access us live. We passionately believe that our music is more powerful when shared, so we invite you to join us. Expect to be inspired and moved and to marvel at the power of live music.
Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s Health and Wellbeing Program is also set to shine in 2022 as an innovative program that will connect with all Queenslanders, harnessing the power of music to bring about hope, health and happiness, involving a wide range of community groups, corporate and university partners.
The Orchestra will continue to connect with First Nation communities to create collaborative music that champions, educates and inspires. In 2022, First Nations and QSO musicians will perform side by side in Cairns, Gladstone, Charleville, and South-East Queensland.
On the regional touring front, the Orchestra is committed to sharing the power of music with as much of the state as possible – from Longreach to Bundaberg, Toowoomba to Atherton.
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Photo Credit: Sarah Marshall