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Queensland Symphony Orchestra returns to Gladstone for Symphony Under the Stars

Queensland Symphony Orchestra returns to Gladstone for Symphony Under the Stars
July 22, 2021

Queensland Symphony Orchestra will be returning to Gladstone this August, for the ninth consecutive year of its Symphony Under the Stars free community event. Through the power of music, the Orchestra aims to provide hope, happiness and health in all communities.

The much-anticipated visit is part of the Gladstone Enrichment through Music (GEM) initiative, which since the beginning in 2012, has seen audiences totalling 61,563 over 122 concerts. In 2021, 57 musicians will travel north for the performance.  

Following last year’s success, Symphony Under the Stars will be performed on Friday 27th August at 7pm, with the performance to take place at the GPC Marina Stage.   

Symphony Under the Stars is supported by Australia Pacific LNG operated by ConocoPhillips, Gladstone Regional Council, Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre, and Gladstone Ports Corporation.  

Conducted and hosted by the ever-entertaining Guy Noble, this concert will also feature Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO) Section Principal Viola Imants as soloist, who will perform Bruch’s Romance in F major, for Viola & Orchestra, op.85.  

QSO Chief Executive Craig Whitehead said the program for the 2021 concerts will take audiences on a fantastic trip around the world and noted “with music from composers such as Tchaikovsky, Grieg, Dvořák, Sibelius, and more, this orchestral global globetrot will be perfect for the entire family. The musicians are excited to return to Gladstone; a place they love visiting and performing in.  

“Last year, Gladstone was the first location QSO was able to visit, and perform for, after the COVID-19 lockdown. Almost 1,500 people joined the Orchestra over two nights and we all look forward to experiencing the same joy later this year.

“For 74 years QSO has brought music to the people of Queensland, whether it be in the majestic Concert Hall in Brisbane, under the stars at Gladstone, onstage at HOTA, in the Empire Theatre in Toowoomba or in classrooms and town halls from Miles to Cairns and in between. This is our charter – we are an orchestra for everyone, powered by music.”  

As in previous years, a local highlight will be the inclusion of Gladstone students joining QSO on stage. As part of QSO’s Prodigy Project, seven talented high school students have been selected to join the Orchestra in a performance of the famous Galop from the William Tell Overture.

Queensland Minister for Water and Local State Member for Gladstone, Glenn Butcher said that the Orchestra’s consistent visits to the region were of vital importance and added “It is fantastic to see the Symphony Under the Stars concert and Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s community engagement in Gladstone as it provides an amazing opportunity for our community to see high quality performances which capture both classical and modern compositions and engages audiences of diverse musical tastes.

“These performances also provide the community with a great opportunity to see a nationally renowned Symphony in Gladstone free of charge. We are extremely fortunate to have the Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s visit regional Queensland to provide this experience and in particular, play a vital role in educating and mentoring arising performers.”

Queensland Symphony Orchestra aims to expand the GEM initiative with the support of local council and community groups. As part of QSO’s Health and Wellbeing program, it is extending activities associated with its ‘We’re Sharing the Joy’ program to the Gladstone community. In the course of the next three years, the Orchestra aims to provide experiences for special schools and the Endeavour Foundation Gladstone Learning and Lifestyle program. The nature of these experiences will be determined by research and pilot programs carried out in the Brisbane region in the latter part of 2021 and 2022.  

Symphony Under the Stars was nominated in the 2019 Gladstone Best in Business Awards in the events category. The GEM initiative was also nominated as a finalist for the 2019 Art Music Awards - Award for Excellence in a Regional Area.

Symphony Under the Stars with Queensland Symphony Orchestra
Friday 27th August at 7pm
GPC Marina Stage, Gladstone
Conductor Guy Noble
Soloist Imants Larsens, viola
This event is free – learn more at 


ROSSINI William Tell Overture, Galop

TCHAIKOVSKY March (Danses Caractéristiques) and Danse russe trepak (Danses Caractéristiques) from The Nutcracker Suite No.1, Op.71a


DVOŘÁK Slavonic Dances Op.72 No.7

COPLAND Fanfare for the Common Man

GRIEG In the Hall of the Mountain King from Peer Gynt Suite No.1, Op.46

BRUCH Romance in F major for Viola & Orchestra, op.85

HANDEL (arr. Hamilton Harty) Royal Fireworks Music, HWV 351

HISAISHI My Neighbor Totoro

BORODIN In the Steppes of Central Asia

SHARPE Blades of Toledo

SIBELIUS Finlandia, Op.26

Image top: Justin Bullock, Phoebe Russell, and Tim Corkeron perform at the GPC Marina Stage; image above QSO musicians performing at the GPC Marina Stage


Related Articles

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