QSO announces dynamic young Assistant Conductor

Media Release ·

Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO) continues to hit the high notes, welcoming exciting young Russian-born pianist and conductor Natalia Raspopova as Assistant Conductor. 

Sophie Galaise said this appointment was the start of QSO’s Assistant Conductor Development Program, yet another Best Practice benchmark for the Orchestra. The program will provide an extraordinary opportunity for an aspiring young conductor to gain coveted experience with QSO, an orchestra that continues to gain important international acclaim.

The appointment of Ms Raspopova has been made possible through the Johannes Fritzsch Fund, a QSO conductor-in-training program which was created in 2014 to honour Maestro Fritzsch on his departure from QSO as its Chief Conductor of seven years. Maestro Fritzsch is passionate about music education and mentorship, and the program is a reflection of his, and the Orchestra’s, commitment to the future of orchestral leadership in Australia. Ms Raspopova’s appointment is also supported by Symphony Services International.

“We are thrilled to announce that after receiving almost 70 applications for this most sought-after role, Ms Raspopova will be joining our company as Assistant Conductor. She possesses an impressive level of skill and dedication, and importantly, passion and potential; all of which positions her for a great future on the international conducting circuit,” Ms Galaise said.

“We look forward to Ms Raspopova’s progress as she works closely with QSO’s exceptional line-up of guest conductors and our Soloist-in-Residence, in addition to being mentored by QSO Conductor Laureate, Maestro Johannes Fritzsch. This program honours QSO’s commitment to music education in nurturing the next generation of stars, and it is a very exciting role for everyone concerned,” she said. 

Ms Raspopova was born in Far East Russia to a musically gifted family; her mother is a musicologist and her father a conductor. Music was part of her life; she started her piano training from age six, before setting an admissions precedent at the Khabarovsk College of Arts when she was accepted at 13 years of age.

In 1998 her family immigrated to Australia, where her musical education and career soared. She is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts (Conducting) and is a member of Symphony Services International’s Conductor Development Program, which assists a new generation of conductors by providing quality training. Guest teachers of the program include QSO Conductor Laureate Johannes Fritzsch who will mentor Ms Raspopova during her 18 month tenure with the QSO.

Ms Raspopova’s mentors have included Imre Palló, Eduardo Diazmunoz, Christopher Seaman, Eckhardt Stier, Nicholas Milton and Roger Woodward. The opportunity to now work with Maestro Fritzsch as well as the increasingly marque lineup of the world’s best soloists and conductors performing with the QSO, is thrilling for Ms Raspopova.

“I feel extremely excited about this wonderful opportunity to work with a group of fantastic musicians and develop my skills further with a professional orchestra of this calibre. It is great to see Queensland Symphony Orchestra supporting local conductors! Just fantastic!” she said.

Natalia Raspopova begins the role of Assistant Conductor with the QSO in July this year.