John Curro AM MBE

Director of Music  I  Conductor, Queensland Youth Symphony

John Curro AM MBE

John Curro AM MBE is both the founder and Director of Music for Queensland Youth Orchestras (QYO), conducting the Queensland Youth Symphony since its beginning in 1966. He is in demand as a conductor and tutor for professional and youth orchestras and festivals.

Last year, Mr Curro conducted Havergal Brian’s Symphony No. 1 The Gothic, for the first ever performance in 30 years and the first performance outside the UK. Writing in the Havergal Brian Society Newsletter of December 2010, Malcolm Mc Donald wrote: “… it was as vivid and powerful a reading as the Gothic has yet received and perhaps the most accurate to date…”. With QYS, Mr Curro conducted the Resurrection Symphony by Gustav Mahler in a remarkable performance with Judith Henley (Soprano), Anne Fulton (Mezzo Soprano), the Queensland Conservatorium Chamber Choir and the Brisbane Chorale.

Mr Curro has been a guest conductor at the Tasmanian Conservatorium and Brisbane Philharmonic (also in 2010 and 2011) orchestras. In 2008, he conducted the Queensland Youth Symphony during its 11th international tour with critically acclaimed concerts in Germany, France and Italy.

Mr Curro has conducted many of Australia’s professional orchestras as well as many opera and ballet seasons in Australia. His guest conducting appearances include the London Virtuosi, the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, the Australian and Bavarian Youth Orchestra, the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra, and Principal Guest Conductor with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.

Throughout his distinguished career, Mr Curro has received many prestigious awards including Member of the Order of Australia and Member of the British Empire. He has received Honorary Doctorates from the University of Queensland and Griffith University, Rotary International’s Paul Harris Fellow award, the Australian Music Centre (Qld) Award, the Don Banks Music Award, the Sir Bernard Heinze Memorial Award, the Orchestras Australia Lifetime Achievement award and the Queensland Premier’s Millenium Award for Excellence in the Arts.

Sergei V Korschmin

Conductor, 2nd Queensland Youth Orchestra & QYO Chamber Orchestra

Sergei completed studies at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory with a Bachelor of Music degree in Performance. Sergei’s conducting debut came at age seventeen, conducting Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony, with the Moscow Composer’s House Orchestra. In the same year he was the Conductor and Production Director of Tchaikovsky’s opera Eugene Onegin. Sergei later conducted a cycle of works by Beethoven.

As the recipient of the Internal Travel Fellowship from the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Sergei participated in music classes at the Conservatoire National de Musique de Paris (France); the Academy of Music, Weimar (Germany); the Southwest Texas University, (USA), and many master classes. Since moving to Australia, Sergei has lectured at several universities in Queensland. He has held the position of Artistic Director of the Mackay Youth Orchestra, and Artistic Director and Conductor of the Mackay Symphony Orchestra. Sergei is regularly invited both as a conductor and teacher, to tutor and direct vacation workshops and master classes.

Sergei has been guest conductor with the Queensland Youth Symphony and Western Australian Youth Orchestra and in 2003 he was appointed conductor of QYO2.

More information about Sergei on

Dr Bradley Voltz

Conductor, Queensland Youth Orchestra 3

Bradley has conducted the Queensland Youth Orchestra 3 since 1998. He holds a PhD in Music Performance from the University of Tasmania and a Masters degree in Orchestral Conducting from the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University. Other post-graduate studies include a Graduate Diploma of Music (Performance) (QCM), Graduate Diploma in Further Education and Training (USQ) and a Graduate Certificate in Music Technology (GU). Bradley has been a conducting student of John Curro, attended conducting master classes under Sergio Celibedache in Germany and studied with Ezra Rachlin in London.

Bradley has performed as a freelance pianist and accordionist with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and for the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in productions of How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, The Pirates of Penzance and The Sound of Music. He has appeared as both conductor and soloist for the University of Queensland Musical Society and the St Lucia Orchestra.

Bradley is member of the Board of Examiners of the Australian Music Examinations Board, and is currently Director of Music at Moreton Bay College and Moreton Bay Boys’ College.

Dr Warwick Potter

Conductor, QYO Wind Symphony

Warwick Potter is one of Australia’s leading conductors. He has conducted Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Camerata of St.John’s, Canberra Symphony Orchestra (CSO), Darwin Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO), Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and West Australian Symphony Orchestra on multiple occasions. He is currently the specialist Education Conductor to CSO and he conducted performances across a range of portfolios including education, family, outdoor spectaculars, concerto competitions and subscription concerts. He enjoys a protean career – collaborations include those with Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra and Bolshoi Ballet.

Recently tenured at the University of Queensland (UQ), he currently conducts UQ Symphony Orchestra (UQSO), UQ Wind Ensemble, Queensland Youth Orchestra Wind Symphony and Brisbane City Pops Orchestra. He is Coordinator of Winds at the School of Music, UQ where his other duties include lecturing in instrumental conducting, bassoon performance lecturing, wind/brass performance practice skills, chamber music and advanced conducting.

A committed music educationalist, Warwick has also conducted for MOST, State Honours Education Program,  Great Public Schools’ Music Day, Queensland Young Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra and Queensland Youth Symphony in the youth sector. He was technical consultant for the current Australian Music Examination Board’s bassoon syllabus and was keynote speaker at QSO’s 2014 Education launch.  Warwick is in increasing demand as an adjudicator and has recently worked for Education Queensland as a Fanfare adjudicator.

He trained at Royal College of Music, London where he was awarded every bassoon prize including an Exhibition Scholarship. He studied bassoon with Kerrison Camden, Geoffrey Gambold and John Burness. He enjoyed a successful freelance career in the United Kingdom including many concerti appearances after winning the 1992 Hastings National Concerto Competition.

His future engagements include conducting CSO in its 2014 Noteworthy education week, directing UQSO through Elgar’s Enigma Variations, making his debut with Northern Rivers Symphony Orchestra in NSW and collaborating with American Ballet Theatre during its upcoming season at QPAC.

David Law

Conductor, QYO Wind Ensemble

2015 is David’s seventh year as the conductor of the Wind Ensemble. David began his journey with Queensland Youth Orchestras in 1997 as a member of the Wind Ensemble, and from 1999 to 2003, held the principal euphonium chair in the Wind Symphony. This began his passion and enthusiasm for community music. David studied Euphonium at the Queensland University of Technology.

David Law has worked as Music Director, Conductor and Pianist with various organisations throughout Brisbane and has trained in Music Direction at the multiple-Tony Award©-winning Goodspeed Musical Theatre Institute in Connecticut, USA. With Ignatians Musical Theatre Society, David worked as Conductor for CATS, as well as repetiteur for Les Misérables, West Side Story and Songbirds.

He was also Musical Director and Conductor for Into the Woods and the ShowStoppers concert series. With Harvest Rain Theatre Company, David conducted their 25th Anniversary Concert. More recently, David has worked with Oscar Theatre Company as Musical Director for the Queensland premieres of[title of show](Brisbane Powerhouse) and Spring Awakening & Next to Normal (QPAC) and is currently a resident pianist with Babushka Cabaret. In addition to conducting the Queensland Wind Orchestra, Brisbane Philharmonic Orchestra, Brisbane’s Westside Orchestra and various school honour bands and workshops, David is currently Performance Music Coordinator and Conductor at Redeemer Lutheran College.

Chen Yang

Conductor, QYO Junior String Ensemble

Chen Yang has had a long association with Queensland Youth Orchestras. He first joined as a violinist in 1975 and was concertmaster of QYS from 1978 to 1980, touring with the orchestra in 1980 to Europe, including the International Festival of Youth Orchestras in Aberdeen, Scotland. Attributing these positive QYO musical experiences as a major influence in choosing music as a career, Chen studied at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and graduated with distinction in violin performance.

As his first professional musical undertaking, Chen was the Concertmaster of the Queensland Theatre Orchestra (later renamed the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra), working under the distinguished Maestro, Georg Tintner. In 1981 Chen joined the Queensland Symphony Orchestra where he played in the first violin section until 1989.

Deciding on a change, Chen spent the next spent two years as musician-in-residence on Dunk Island Holiday Resort in North Queensland where he led a string quartet and performed as a cabaret violinis. He continued as a freelance musician throughout the early 1990s, performing in show orchestras for many major musical productions at QPAC.

Chen is the leader and conductor of The Sinfonia of St Andrew’s orchestra and is the string teacher and conductor at St Hilda’s School, Southport. He adjudicates regularly for eisteddfods and competitions and is also a prolific arranger of string music for the Junior String Ensemble. Chen was the conductor of QYO3 from 1983 to 1988 and since 1991 has been the conductor of the Junior String Ensemble.

Rafael Karlen

Conductor, QYO Big Band

Rafael graduated from Griffith University, Queensland Conservatorium of Music in 2004, with a Bachelor in Contemporary Music Performance in Saxophone. He received the Lord Mayor’s Fellowship for Young and Emerging Artists from the Brisbane City Council in 2011 to undertake study in Europe and has recently returned following the completion of his Masters of Music Degree at the University of York in England.

His debut album with the Brisbane-based ensemble the West End Composers Collective, received critical acclaim and featured Rafael as a composer, saxophonist and flautist. In 2009, he was a finalist in the Bell Awards for both Young Australian Jazz Artist of the Year and Best Jazz Composition of the Year categories, received a Q150 Composer Commission, and was the 2009 Composer-in-residence with the West Australia Youth Jazz Orchestra. Rafael also attended the 2009 International Jazz and Creative Music Workshop at the Banff Centre in Canada. In 2008, Rafael was a finalist in the APRA/JMO National Big Band Composition Competition in Sydney. Rafael has toured throughout Australia and regularly works as a composer, performer and arranger in a broad range of musical styles.