Johannes Fritzsch, one of Australia’s leading international conductors, has been named Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s new Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser; it is a very welcome return for the world-class Maestro.
“The appointment of Maestro Fritzsch as QSO’s new Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser extends until 2023, and we are thrilled and honoured that he has agreed to return to the fold to provide the orchestra with outstanding and unequalled artistic leadership,” said QSO Chair Mr Chris Freeman.
“Maestro Fritzsch remains integral to the Queensland Symphony Orchestra,” he said. “He is one of the great musical leaders, a conductor we can credit with building the QSO into the world class orchestra it is today, one that is spoken of in concert halls everywhere for its musicality and integrity. It is indeed a coup for the QSO and all our subscribers and music lovers to have Maestro Fritzsch own the baton as Principal Conductor.”
German-born, Australian-based Maestro Fritzsch is a loved and respected figure within the Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO) family. He made his mark as an orchestra-builder, joining the company during a time of rapid artistic growth under his direction as Chief Conductor – a role he held from 2008 to 2014. Since 2015, Maestro Fritzsch has been the QSO’s Conductor Laureate.
In 2020, Fritzsch thrilled QSO audiences when he led performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 and the Emperor Piano Concerto. This year, his appearances include Arabian Nights (this Friday, February 19 and Saturday, February 20), Enigma (Friday, April 9 and Saturday, April 10) and Breathtaking Tchaikovsky (Friday, August 6 and Saturday, August 7).
“I feel honoured and excited to take the helm of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra again – an ensemble I got to know intimately during my time as Chief Conductor. I enjoy working with this outstanding group of musicians so much; I am looking forward to some great years of collaboration with the players, the Management and Board,” said Maestro Fritzsch.
Johannes Fritzsch has enjoyed a long and rewarding career both in his homeland (he completed his musical education in Dresden, near his birthplace of Meissen) and throughout Europe and Asia. He has given many notable performances of his heartland repertoire – especially the works of Strauss, Mahler and Wagner.
Maestro Fritzsch regularly conducts the major Australasian orchestras as well as leading productions for Opera Australia, Opera Queensland, West Australian Opera and State Opera of South Australia. Previous appointments include Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Oper Graz, Grazer Philharmonisches Orchester in Austria (2006-2013); and Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Staatsoper Nürnberg (2005-2006).
Since 2018 Johannes has held the position of Principal Guest Conductor of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. In 2017 the TSO invited him to design and lead the newly founded Australian Conducting Academy. In 2019 he joined the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University as Professor for Opera and Orchestral Studies.
Queensland Symphony Orchestra is back in the Concert Hall for Season 2021, one 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. It is expected that a Chief Conductor will be announced during the 2023 year.
For more information about the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Principal Conductor Johannes Fritzsch and its 2021 program, visit: www.qso.com.au for details.
Image: Johannes Fritzsch – courtesy of Queensland Symphony Orchestra