In last year’s opening Maestro concert, the young Scandinavian conductor Daniel Blendulf made his début with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Alondra de la Parra, the orchestra’s chief conductor, was to have directed this year’s introductory concert, but as she was invited to replace the indisposed Franz Welser-Möst in Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) in Berlin, Daniel Blendulf was invited to step into the breach.
Paul Lewis, renowned for his affinity with Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven’s piano-centric repertoire is QSO’s 2019 artist-in-residence. A disciple of the fabled pianist Alfred Brendel, Lewis has performed Mozart’s final Piano Concerto No. 27 in Bb major in the world’s major concert halls. Unusually, the work has the feel of chamber music in that the soloist is required periodically to integrate with the orchestra, add depth to orchestral textures, dovetail with instrumental solos, spin swirling, exuberant commentary at breath-taking speed, and in an instant assume the lead as soloist. There’s nothing gratuitously flashy or virtuosic about this concerto.