The Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO) is an Australian orchestra, based principally in Brisbane in the state of Queensland.
The QSO played its first concert on 26 March 1947, with the orchestra consisting of 45 musicians, conducted by Percy Code. John Farnsworth Hall was recruited from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra as the orchestra's first chief conductor. The orchestra played concerts in various Queensland cities and towns, such as Innisfail and Townsville, travelling up to 3500 miles a year in the process.
In 2001, the QSO was merged with the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra, to form The Queensland Orchestra (TQO). On 14 October 2009, the orchestra announced a reversion of its name back to the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, effective in 2010. Since June 2013, the QSO's CEO is Sophie Galaise.
The orchestra is funded by private corporations, the state government and the Australian federal government through the Australia Council. Most of the orchestra's performances take place in Brisbane at three venues:
- Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) Concert Hall
- QSO Studios, South Bank
- Brisbane City Hall.
In addition, the orchestra tours other parts of the state of Queensland regularly, including the following locations:
- Gold Coast Art Centre
- The Events Centre, Caloundra
- Empire Theatres, Toowoomba
- Pilbeam Theatre, Rockhampton
- Mackay Entertainment Centre
- Townsville Civic Theatre
- Cairns Civic Theatre.
The orchestra's discography includes Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, and several works of Benjamin Frankel, including his eight symphonies, violin concerto, viola concerto, and several film score suites.
The orchestra's longest-serving chief conductor was the Czech-born Rudolf Pekárek (1954–67). Muhai Tang has held the title of conductor laureate from November 2005. Michael Christie was the first chief conductor of the orchestra under its new name, from 2001 to 2004. In July 2007, Johannes Fritzsch was named the next chief conductor of the orchestra, beginning in January 2008, with an initial contract through 2010. In February 2010, the orchestra announced a 3-year extension of Fritzsch's contract as chief conductor, through 2013. In September 2013, the QSO announced the scheduled conclusion of Fritzsch's chief conductorship at the end of 2014.
In May 2015, Alondra de la Parra made her first guest-conducting appearance with the QSO. In October 2015, the QSO announced the appointment of de la Parra as its first-ever music director and first-ever female conductor in its principal conducting post, effective in 2017.