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Queensland Symphony Orchestra Reveals Magnificent 2020 Season

Friday 23 August 2019

Queensland Symphony Orchestra Reveals Magnificent 2020 Season

Let the Queensland Symphony Orchestra bless your ears with its magnificent 2020 season packed with breathtaking masterpieces, spine-tingling movie music, intimate chamber music, and classical concerts for the children.

Year 2020 marks 250 years since the birth of the incomparable Ludwig van Beethoven, recently voted Australia's favourite composer*. 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 fascinating 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 dubbed 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 display his formidable talents 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, family-friendly experience 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."


The Season 2020 Maestro Series features 10 concerts: Power and Glory, Musical Sorcery, Mozart's Jupiter, Bolero and Beyond, Beethoven and Dvořák, Don Quixote, Music of the Masters, Pyrotechnic Violin, Beethoven 5 and Beethoven's Emperor.


Season 2020 opens with arguably the greatest in the Star Wars concert series, Return of the Jedi In Concert in February and the fifth instalment of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix™ in Concert later in August. Film buffs get another treat with a return of the popular Cinematic in May, this time exploring the powerful film scores that depict the heroism and heartbreak of battle.

A special family event takes place in March with Abbott's The Peasant Prince, an interactive experience complete with storytelling and big-screen projections, based on Li Cunxin's best-selling children's book. 2020 sees the return of popular concerts Opera Gala in April, The Last Night of the Proms in June and Handel's Messiah in November.

In August, Queensland Symphony Orchestra's 250th birthday celebration Beethoven comes to a climax with Ode to Joy. Conducted by the incomparable Simone Young and featuring a range of soloists and a breathtaking chorus, this performance of the majestic Choral Symphony No.9 (arguably Beethoven's greatest masterpiece) will be epic.


Under the always-entertaining baton of Guy Noble, Season 2020's Music on Sundays opens in March with The Ballet Beautiful. Happy Birthday Beethoven in May will feature the multi-talented Guy Braunstein as conductor and soloist in a concert that includes several highlights of Beethoven's music, concluding with a rendition of his funniest work, his Symphony No.8.

Vienna and Beyond in August highlights music from Viennese composers as well as music from eastern European countries that influenced music written in Vienna—just like a road trip around Europe without the hassle of passports! This concert is conducted by Elena Schwarz and features Queensland Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster Warwick Adeney on violin. In September, Guy Noble hosts Reel Classics featuring the stirring overture to 'Lawrence of Arabia', the exhilaration of the flying bikes in E.T's 'Adventures on Earth', and Michael Giacchino's lively Bond-inspired theme to 'The Incredibles'.


The intimate Chamber Players series gives audiences the chance to be up-close and personal with the talented Orchestra musicians in their home studio and in 2020 features five concerts, beginning with Beethoven and Brahms in February; Beethoven, Rossini and Weber in April; Mozart and Golijov in June; Brahms, Muczynski and Martinů in August, and Mozart, Strauss and Adams in September.