Queensland Conservatorium maestro to helm QSO

Queensland Conservatorium Professor Johannes Fritzsch has been appointed Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the QSO.

Professor Johannes Fritzsch, of Griffith University’s Queensland Conservatorium, has been named Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO).

The German-born, Australian-based conductor was Chief Conductor of the QSO from 2008 until 2014 and since 2015 has been Conductor Laureate.

“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,” he said.

“I enjoy working with this outstanding group of musicians – it feels like coming home.”


Photo: Peter Wallis

Maestro Fritzsch has been a Professor of Opera and Orchestral Studies at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University since 2019 and he said students would reap the benefits from his new appointment.

“The QSO and the Conservatorium are next door neighbours at South Bank – there are already strong connections between the two institutions,” he said.

“I’m sure our students will benefit from greater access. I’m keen to bring in some of our conducting students for internships and get students along to rehearsals.”

Maestro Fritzsch will oversee several major concerts as part of the Queensland Conservatorium 2021 Season, including Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony, Mahler’s 5th Symphony and this year’s main stage opera production, Kurt Weill’s Street Scene.


Associate Professor Peter Morris

Acting Director of the Queensland Conservatorium, Associate Professor Peter Morris, said he was delighted that Maestro Fritzsch had been chosen to lead the state’s premier orchestra.

“Maestro Fritzsch has had a long relationship with the Queensland Conservatorium – even before his appointment as Professor of Orchestral and Opera Studies, he was a regular guest conductor and mentor for our students,” he said.


Photo: Peter Wallis

“We are delighted to see him return to lead the Queensland Symphony Orchestra – an ensemble that showcases many of our staff and alumni.

“As one of the country’s leading conservatoires, our students have access to world-class artists who boast unrivalled industry connections.”

Maestro Fritzsch has enjoyed a stellar career throughout Europe and Asia and is known for his interpretations of renowned German composers, including Strauss, Mahler and Wagner.

He regularly conducts major Australasian orchestras and leads productions for Opera Australia, Opera Queensland, West Australian Opera and State Opera of South Australia. Since 2018, he has held the position of Principal Guest Conductor of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.

Maestro Fritzsch will work with a range of Queensland Conservatorium alumni as part of the QSO 2021 Season, including internationally acclaimed pianist Piers Lane, revered didgeridoo artist William Barton, oboist Diana Doherty and soprano Rebecca Cassidy.

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