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Queensland Symphony Orchestra appoints David Pratt as Chief Executive

David Pratt

Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO) is set to welcome a Chief Executive of international repute – Mr David Pratt will join the company in September, bringing with him more than 20 years of senior management experience in leadership roles across the performing arts, film and entertainment sectors in the United States and Australia.

Australian-born, Mr Pratt has accepted the position following a six month global search and represents an exciting new era for the QSO as it continues to grow in musicality, operational strength and international fame.  He will join the company as it readies to celebrate the 70th anniversary in 2017, as well as welcoming acclaimed international conductor Ms Alondra de la Parra as Music Director.

QSO Chair Mr Greg Wanchap said the appointment of David Pratt was the latest in a string of major successes and coups for the company.

“QSO is in very strong artistic and financial health. Following a record-breaking season 2015 plus renewed and acclaimed musicality throughout the Orchestra, we are looking forward to the next chapter, one led by the dynamic and very experienced David Pratt together with our Music Director, Alondra de la Parra,” he said. 

Queensland Premier and Minister for the Arts Annastacia Palaszczuk welcomed Mr Pratt back to Queensland and congratulated him on the appointment.

“David brings a wealth of international experience to QSO and will nurture the company’s reputation and performance on a world stage, while continuing to build attendance and support domestically.

“I am very proud of our Symphony Orchestra as it continues to establish itself as a leader on the global front, bringing the world’s greats to perform here and showcasing Queensland on an international level.

“It is a significant coup for QSO to welcome David to the company as it looks forward to its 70th anniversary year,” she said.

David Pratt joins QSO from his role as Executive Director of the Santa Barbara Symphony. In this position he has led a restructure of the business model resulting in annual surpluses with significant increases in single tickets sales and annual fund giving as well as spearheading new programming initiatives. Prior to joining the Santa Barbara Symphony, Mr Pratt was Executive Director for the Savannah Philharmonic for five years, where he delivered substantial increases in audience numbers, donations and corporate support, producing annual surpluses, and introducing new and engaging community programs, performances and events.

He has held the position of Senior Event Manager with the G’Day USA Festival, where he created and managed a series of arts, cultural and music events across several cities in the United States; a role which included securing and managing multiple event sponsor partnerships.

Prior to returning to Los Angeles in 2009, Mr Pratt held a senior management position as Commercial Enterprises Manager with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, responsible for planning the symphony’s commercial season producing highly successful performances with artists such as Roberta Flack, Nigel Kennedy and Kate Ceberano as well as overseeing the commercial program’s budget.

From 2006 to early 2008, Mr Pratt was the General Manager of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville, Queensland. He had unprecedented success with record attendances, surpluses, and significant increases in financial support.

Between 1997 and 2006, Mr Pratt held various management positions across the film and entertainment sector in Los Angeles. He organized the 2005 Australian Film, Music, and Style Showcase for the G’Day USA Festival. In 2001, Mr Pratt founded Australians In Film, where he built the organization into a high profile film culture association with a sizeable membership, long-term partnerships with US film studios and significant corporate support. In this role, Mr Pratt oversaw monthly film screenings and events with actors, directors, and producers working directly with industry A-listers such as Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Baz Luhrmann and Philip Noyce.

From 1997 to 2004, Mr Pratt was the Australian Film Commissioner for Ausfilm in Los Angeles, promoting Australia’s film and TV production sector across the U.S. entertainment industry. He secured over $600 million worth of production, was the undisputable driving force for the Australian Government introducing film and TV incentives, and was the catalyst for Ausfilm’s corporate support more than quadrupling from 15 to over 60 companies.

Prior to moving to the U.S. in 1997, Mr Pratt was General Manager at the Melbourne Film Office for the State of Victoria. He secured over $1 million in re-current funding from State Government for this newly established office, and led major marketing missions in North East Asia, USA and the UK securing thousands of dollars of business.

Mr Pratt has a bachelor of arts, graduate diploma in business administration, and a certificate in public relations. He is passionate about music.