John Curro AM MBE
Director of Music I Conductor, Queensland Youth Symphony
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 www.korschmin.com
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 portfolio conductors equally at home conducting a professional ensemble as he is a youth orchestra. Director of Performance and Engagement at The University of Queensland, Warwick is the Conductor, The University of Queensland (UQ) Symphony Orchestra and Director, UQ Winds. His other UQ roles and responsibilities include being Coordinator of Winds, Director of Large Ensembles, Convenor of Friends of UQ Music, Convenor of UQ Music @ St John’s, Convenor of the School’s monthly 4MBS Classic FM Broadcast, and Convenor of the School’s Twitter account (musicuq). Furthermore, he lectures in instrumental conducting, bassoon performance, chamber music, and woodwind performance classes and is a member of the School’s research committee.
Professionally, he has conducted the Adelaide, Canberra, Darwin, Queensland (QSO), Tasmanian, West Australian Symphony Orchestras (WASO) and Camerata of St. John’s across a range of orchestral portfolios. In the youth ensemble sector, he has conducted the Queensland Youth Symphony (including The Planets at the express invitation of John Curro), Young Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra (Brisbane), MOST Symphony Orchestra (Education Queensland) and the Great Public Schools Symphony Orchestra since his move to Brisbane in 2010. He has commissioned multiple world premieres from Brisbane-based composers in recent years.
Warwick was responsible for the technical part of the Australian Music Examinations Board’s (AMEB) bassoon syllabus released in 2011. He has extensively examined for the AMEB and adjudicated for multiple eisteddfods in Queensland as well as for Education Queensland’s Fanfare program in 2014. As a bassoonist, he has played for the Australian Chamber Orchestra, QSO and WASO within Australia, the latter two orchestras as Guest Principal.
A former recipient of an Australian Postgraduate Award, Warwick successfully completed a PhD in Music Performance (conducting) at UQ in 2015. 2018 concerts include conducting the UQ Symphony Orchestra in performances of Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique (May 27) and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10 (October 21) at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. Warwick leaves for China tomorrow, leading a party of 32 people in a creative practice performance project with the Xi’an Symphony Orchestra.
Warwick has directed QYO Wind Symphony since 2010 in a genre that remains close to his heart.
Conductor, QYO Wind Ensemble
2018 is David Law’s tenth 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-making. David studied Euphonium at the Queensland University of Technology.
David 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), Spring Awakening and Next to Normal (QPAC).
In 2016, David was an invited clinician, instructor and conductor for Queensland Music Festival’s Cape York Instrumental Program. He has regularly directed the Wind Ensemble as part of Griffith University’s State Honours Ensemble Program in Central and North Queensland, and is a sectional lecturer with the University of Queensland Symphony Orchestra. David has adjudicated at state and national competitions including the West Australian School’s Concert Band Festival and Queensland’s MusicFest.
In addition to conducting the Queensland Wind Orchestra, Brisbane Philharmonic Orchestra, Brisbane’s Westside Orchestra and various school honour bands and workshops across Queensland, David is currently Head of Performance Music at Redeemer Lutheran College.
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.
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.