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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | November 25, 2020

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Season 2021: QSO's Vibrant Comeback

Season 2021: QSO’s Vibrant Comeback
Claire Matthews

Queensland Symphony Orchestra has announced their season 2021 will be a bright, joyous return to live performance in the concert hall.

Season 2021 was unveiled through an online launch on Friday, which featured the orchestra performing highlights to come. Concertmaster Warwick Adeney, Kathryn Close (cello), Justin Bullock (double bass) and Lauren Manuel (French horn) spoke of what they’re most looking forward to in the upcoming season.

In 2021, QSO will perform 18 concerts at QPAC, including three commissioned world premieres and the Maestro series; a collection of 10 world-class classical celebrations.

Soloists performing with QSO in 2021 include acclaimed Queensland pianist Piers Lane, didgeridoo artist William Barton, violinist Grace Clifford, oboist Diana Doherty, organist Joseph Nolan, sopranos Emma Pearson, Lorina Gore and Opera Queensland’s Young Artist Rebecca Cassidy and musical theatre star Simon Gleeson.

The 2021 program will include solos for Warwick Adeney, Section Principal Flute Alison Mitchell, Section Principal Clarinet Irit Silver, Principal Tuba Thomas Allely and Acting Section Principal Cello Hyung Suk Bae.

To conduct the orchestra, Conductor Laureate Johannes Fritzsch returns, together with Dane Lam, Umberto Clerici, Elena Schwarz, Benjamin Northey, Max McBride, Alexander Briger, Benjamin Bayl and Guy Noble. Plus, conductor Ludovic Morlot joins as the only international artist for the season.


From 6th February, enjoy a program of QSO’s favourite pieces from Beethoven to Bolero. The year will include world premieres, movie music and classical masterpieces, before conducing on 2nd December with Four Last Songs.

Three world premieres, all by Australian composers, will be staged in 2021. On 30th April and 1st May, Irit Silver and Alison Mitchell will premiere composer Gordon Kerry’s new piece during Pictures at an Exhibition. Then, in June, Epic Sounds will feature the world premiere of William Barton’s new work. In September, Queensland’s Finest will feature the world premiere of a new composition from the winner of QSO’s 2019 Compose Program, Sebastian Lingane.

Aside from classical music, season 2021 also offers cinematic music, a Musical Theatre Gala, music from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Prokofiev’s ballet music for Romeo and Juliet.
QSO will also tour throughout regional Queensland in 2021 to perform, educate and inspire. QSO’s Young Instrumentalist Prize will also be awarded, continuing the orchestra’s commitment to training the next generation.

QSO’s Chief Executive Craig Whitehead said the orchestra is excited for 2021, after the challenges of this year. “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.
“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.”

Tickets for QSO’s 2021 season go on sale on Monday. Watch QSO’s virtual season launch here.

The Details:

What: QSO Season 2021

When: 6 February to 2 December 2021

Where: QPAC Concert Hall

Tickets: Packages on sale from Mon 16 November 2020. Single tickets on sale from Mon 14 December 2020.

More info on concerts and programs here.