Backstage Pass Interview with Johannes Fritzsch

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Why did you choose to perform Mahler’s Symphony No.3 as your final concert as QSO’s Chief Conductor?

Mahler’s Third Symphony is without any doubt one of the absolute highlights in the orchestral repertoire. It is a piece which showcases an orchestra in the best possible way. In addition, it is an incredibly beautiful symphony.

Which QSO concert stands out as your best and why?

Usually I remember the last one as the best we have done. I admit that doesn’t sound very convincing but I guess it is because it is the freshest one in the memory and therefore the one with the most lively emotions connected.

As you reflect on your time as QSO’s Chief Conductor, what are you most proud of having achieved with the Orchestra?

I believe the transition from two orchestras (the 2001 amalgamation of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra) into one great ensemble was successfully achieved. After many years, and enormous energy and hard work from everybody involved, I now recognise a confident and vibrant orchestra with a perfect mix of experienced and young musicians.

Can you describe what it means to be a Chief Conductor of an orchestra compared to a guest conductor?

As Chief Conductor you form a special relationship with an orchestra. You get to know each other quite well after many concerts with vastly different repertoire. This is an experience you will never have as a guest conductor.

What do you think you will miss the most from your role as Chief Conductor?

I will definitely miss the continuous work with the QSO musicians. Fortunately I will come back and I am sure it won’t feel I am coming back as a “guest”.

What plans do you have for next year?

Coming back to the QSO, Opera Queensland, and working with the Queensland Conservatorium here in Brisbane, doing guest work with other orchestras around the country and building my family and professional life in Hobart