Queensland Symphony launch 2015 with a raft of big names and a slew of firsts.

The Queensland Symphony Orchestra launched their 2015 Season by announcing a glittering line-up of world-class soloists including cellist Mischa Maisky, pianist Sergio Tiempo, conductor Simone Young and a phalanx of violinists: Sarah Chang, Maxim Vengerov, Pinchas Zuckerman and Shlomo Mintz – the latter being Australia’s first soloist in residence.

Maxim Vengerov

In a quirky piece of programming, Mintz will open the season playing Sibelius’s Violin Concerto in its standard 1905 revision while Vengerov will wind up 2015 playing the original version of the same work. Following a similar process with the Fifth Symphony earler this year, this represents another coup for Queensland as Sibelius’s first thoughts have only once been recorded and it has not been played live since the composer forbade performances over a hundred years ago.

Outgoing Chief Conductor Johannes Fritzsch will conduct Mintz’s first concerto performance, but the popular Israeli virtuoso will cement his relationship with Queenslanders by performing Mendelssohn’s popular concerto later in the year, as well as playing chamber music with QSO musicians and conducting workshops, masterclasses and talks. “Shlomo is passionate about music education,” says Sophie Galaise, the QSO’s Canadian Chief Executive, and the woman charged with finding the replacement for Fritzsch whose term is up at the end of the year. “Getting a world class musician involved here in Queensland shows that we have a truly global vision”.

Leading cellist Micha Maisky makes a welcome return to Australia playing Dvořák’s famous concerto under the baton of Yan Pascal Tortellier, one of many high profile international conductors heading to Brisbane. Sarah Chang plays Bruch’s glorious Violin Concerto under leading Chinese conductor Yu Long; Argerich protégé Sergio Tiempo returns to play his signature work: Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto; Nikolai Demidenko will play Brahms’ Second Piano Concerto; Pinchas Zuckerman, who wowed Sydney earlier this year, will play the Elgar Concerto under rising star (and Mariss Jansons’ deputy), Rory Macdonald.

Sarah Chang

New commissions will see The Australian Voices premiering A Trillion Souls, Gordon Hamilton’s tribute to Alan Turing, the British mathematical genius and wartime code breaker. Turing committed suicide after being prosecuted as a result of his sexuality and was only pardoned by the British government earlier this year. After his inventive Ghosts in the Orchestra it will be fascinating to see what the imaginative Hamilton comes up with.

More Queensland favourites return in 2015 – Simone Young, James Morrison and Edgar Meyer. Young will conduct Mahler’s epic Sixth Symphony in a program that includes Lisa Gasteen singing the Rückert Lieder for the first time. Morrison and Meyer will play the world premiere of a double concerto for trumpet and double bass, commissioned from Finnish composer Max Savikangas.

Perhaps the most intriguing new music venture, however, is QSO Current – a 24-hour-long extravaganza which will invite audiences to travel the river, getting on and off boats in order to experience different flavours of contemporary music. Headlining the event will be the world premiere of a new commission by minimalist supremo Philip Glass but we are also promised jazz, electro-pop and new Australian composers “up close” – make of that what you will…

On the more overtly populist front the new Star Trek movie will have the score played live by the QSO and there’s a Bollywood Gala linking the QSO with Brisbane’s vibrant Indian community. Guy Noble’s popular Music on Sundays series continues and there is a raft of family events. 

 

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