Breathtaking masterpieces, spine-tingling movie music, intimate chamber music, and classical concerts for the children are amongst the many highlights of Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s magnificent 2020 season.
Year 2020 marks 250 years since the birth of the incomparable Ludwig van Beethoven, recently voted Australia’s favourite composers*, and, to celebrate Queensland Symphony Orchestra joins orchestras across the globe in celebrating, with a series of nine concerts and special tributes featuring the music of the man whose symphonies have been called the ‘cornerstones of Western civilisation’.
In a season as welcoming as it is exciting, 2020 stars thrilling soloists including dual Grammy-nominated saxophonist Amy Dickson and fellow Australian superstars violinist Ray Chen, pianist Aura Go, soprano Emma Pearson, the young violinist Grace Clifford, and the Orchestra’s own violist Imants Larsens.
As well as home-grown, internationally acclaimed talent, Queensland Symphony Orchestra again welcomes soloists from afar to Brisbane including Principal Horn of the Berlin Philharmonic, German Stefan Dohr, the ‘dazzlingly brilliant’ Armenian cellist, Narek Hakhnazaryan and Behzod Abduraimov from Uzbekistan, who has been described as ‘the most perfectly accomplished pianist of his generation’.
Israeli Guy Braunstein, who was the youngest violinist ever appointed concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic, will have his formidable talents on full display with the Orchestra as he both plays and conducts in two concerts, Beethoven and Dvořák and Happy Birthday Beethoven.
Three of Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s favourite conductors return in 2020 to take on Beethoven’s most treasured works - Australian super conductor Simone Young leads Beethoven’s majestic Choral Symphony No.9 in August, Sweden’s Daniel Blendulf conducts Beethoven’s Symphony No.5 in October, and Conductor Laureate Johannes Fritzsch leads Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.5 in November.
The all-star conductor cast is rounded out with Elena Schwarz (Switzerland-Australia), Alexander Prior (UK), Eduardo Strausser (Brazil), André de Ridder (Germany), Giancarlo Guerrero (Nicaragua), Giordano Bellincampi (Italy/Denmark), Alexandre Bloch (France), Australians Benjamin Northey and Simon Hewett, and Nicholas McGegan (UK) who has been described as ‘one of the finest baroque conductors of his generation’.
Continuing its mission to commission and support new works, Queensland Symphony Orchestra is proud to present two world premieres in 2020; the first in February’s Power and Glory Maestro concert by talented Australian composer Melody Eötvös, and the second in July in The Music of The Masters concert by the Orchestra’s own violist, Bernard Hoey.
In 2020, Queensland Symphony Orchestra truly cements its position as an ‘Orchestra for Everyone’ with two concerts celebrating famous film scores, Reel Classics and Cinematic, as well as the latest instalments of the Harry Potter and Star Wars Live concert series. The youngest of classical music lovers are in for a treat with a special performance of Abbott’s The Peasant Prince, an interactive experience for the whole family based on Li Cunxin’s best-selling children's book.
“Queensland Symphony Orchestra is an Orchestra for Everyone, which means we want to be an orchestra for all Queenslanders. We want to offer concerts that appeal to a broad range of people that aims to introduce everyone to the magic of orchestral music. Our concerts – whether that is a Shostakovich symphony or the latest Harry Potter film with orchestra – provide immense joy to those attending,” said Chief Executive Craig Whitehead.
“There is something unique and magical about the sound of a live orchestra and our 2020 season aims to continue to provide that sense of joy, wonder, and spine tingles. Whether you come for the virtuosity of the performers, the emotional journeys that orchestral music can take us on, or just for a wonderful night out, our Orchestra For Everyone aims to have a concert for everyone in our arsenal for next year.”