The Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO) celebrated the announcement of its new Music Director, conductor Alondra de la Parra on October 23. As the first orchestra in Australia to appoint a Music Director, the international acclaim of Parra’s work is an exciting opportunity for the breadth of QSO’s global artistic reach.

Born in New York City and raised in Mexico, Parra attended the Centre of Research and Musical Studies (CIEM) in Mexico City to study composition. Aged 19, she received the Presser Scholarship to attend the Manhattan School of Music. Furthering her education, she completed a BM in piano performance and Masters degree in Orchestra Conducting, both the highest honours.

As the first Mexican woman to conduct in New York City and a Cultural Ambassador of Mexico, Ms de la Parra paves the way for a new generation of Mexican classical musicians. She has led more than 70 of the most prestigious orchestras around the world with a back catalogue that includes Orchestre de Paris, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, RSB Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and Milan’s Cameristi della Scala.


Her work has been deemed by French news publication Le Monde a chauffeur of classical music “into the 21st century”. Ms de la Parra praises QSO with sentiments akin to this. On receiving the role she said, “the QSO is an innovative arts company, with a great vibrancy and truly outstanding musicality” and that she is “truly excited to take on this new role”.

Come 2016, she will open QSO’s concert season with Mahler’s Symphony No.2 on February 27. 2017 will mark both the orchestra’s 70th anniversary and the commencement of Ms de la Parra three-year role as Music Director.

QSO Chief Executive Officer Ms Sophie Galaise said “The QSO’s future looks even brighter, with Ms de la Parra’s vision and passion helping to build QSO’s reputation and showcase Queensland to the world.”


Images by Queensland Symphony Orchestra 
Words by Anna Saxby