Queensland Symphony Orchestra Launch of the 2017 (70th Anniversary) Season
Deputy Premier; Your Honour; Members of Parliament; ladies and gentlemen. I am delighted to be in this distinguished company for the launch of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s 2017 Season.
I at once, with respect to Elders, acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbul and Jagera peoples.
Listening to live orchestral music is one of life’s great pleasures and privileges. The experience of hearing a first-class orchestra in full flight is exhilarating. Also, differently exhilarating, was my weekend experience of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville, now in its 26th year – a great North Queensland success story, thanks in part to Queensland Government continuing support, for which as AFCM Patron I express gratitude – may that support long persist.
That foundational support aside, and it is as given with the AFCM as it is with the QSO, all we, as an audience, have to do is buy our ticket – thereby making our own individual financial contribution, turn up, sit down, remember to turn off our mobile phones, and wait for waves of beautiful music to wash over us.
But from the orchestra’s point of view, the process looks a little different.
The effort required to have sixty, seventy, eighty or more musicians, with their instruments, in the same space, at the same time, ready to play the same piece is, to indulge in understatement, substantial.
That’s before a note is played, and without delving into the whole process of choosing repertoire, rehearsals, and no doubt finding solutions to the odd, last-minute drama.
But we expect even more – much more – of our State’s Symphony Orchestra.
We expect it to perform music from the classical canon at the highest levels of technical prowess and artistry.
We expect it to attract world renowned artists to perform in Queensland.
We expect it to program interesting repertoire that combines the tried and trusted with newer music – remembering that all music was once new.
We expect the Orchestra to take the gift of its music to regional areas of this vast State – just as important as they are as is the metropolis.
And we expect our own QSO to provide creative programming exploring orchestral genres outside the realms of classical music.
The list is even longer and demanding, but I think I’ve made my point!
The Queensland Symphony Orchestra has not disappointed us. In fact, it has delighted us in the way it has risen to these multiple challenges.
We expect no less of the QSO in the coming year – no pressure intended!
There is much to be excited about for the 2017 season, which marks 70 years since the Orchestra became Australia’s second professional symphony orchestra. Next year will see the beginning of Alondra de la Parra’s formal appointment as Music Director. New Chief Executive David Pratt will join the Orchestra in September, stepping into the shoes of Sophie Galaise, who is no doubt enjoying the weather in Melbourne.
As Patron, I take this opportunity to thank Sophie once more for her dedication to the QSO and for the Orchestra’s achievements under her leadership.
I thank Rodney Phillips for his wonderful contribution as Interim Chief Executive. And I extend a warm, formal welcome, to Alondra for the beginning of her formal tenure with the QSO in 2017.
If you have not yet seen it, I encourage you to look out and read the excellent, comprehensive introduction to Alondra published in last Friday’s ‘Financial Review’ magazine. In referring to it as an introduction, I am sure even more unstated wonders of Alondra’s brilliance will unfold before us as we experience the Orchestra under her direction.
I have had a preview of the 2017 program, but I will not steal the QSO’s thunder by pre-empting the presentations to come. However, I will congratulate the QSO on creating an impressive, broad-ranging and exciting season for 2017.
And I will wonder aloud if Alondra might introduce Queensland audiences to more of the music of her homeland.
I thank all those who have played a role in shaping next year’s musical adventure.
As I suggested earlier, keeping the QSO operating smoothly is a very substantial challenge. Meeting that challenge requires great commitment and hard work behind the scenes, and on stage.
I thank the QSO Board, executive, players, management and administrative staff, sponsors and supporters for their dedication in bringing Queenslanders world-class music performed by a world-class ensemble.
I wish the QSO, as our State’s great cultural treasure, a 70th anniversary season of packed venues, rousing applause, and glowing reviews.