Alondra de la Parra, Music Director of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, has been named Mexico’s Woman of the Year at a ceremony in Mexico City. Presented by the Mexican National Board of Women of the Year, the prestigious title acknowledges de la Parra’s remarkable contribution to culture, as well as her contribution to Mexico’s international standing. The title has been awarded to 50 women since 1960.

Alondra de la Parra at Mexico’s Woman of the Year ceremony. Photo supplied

“It is a true honour to receive this medal from the Secretary of State Olga Sanchez Cordero, which has been previously awarded to such remarkable women,” said de la Parra. “I am humbled and extremely grateful to know my work is recognised in my country.”

QSO Chair Chris Freeman said the entire orchestra extends its congratulations to de la Parra. “Alondra’s tenure as Music Director has opened the world to the company and shined a magnificent light on Queensland and Australia as home to world class musicians,” he said. “Alondra’s appointment as Music Director was an Australian first, and a major international coup and we are incredibly proud of her achievements.”

De La Parra speaking at Mexico’s Woman of the Year ceremony. Photo supplied

De la Parra has served as QSO’s Music Director since 2017, the first woman to head a state symphony orchestra in Australia. She holds the similar distinction of being the first Mexican woman to conduct in New York City, and is an official Cultural Ambassador of Mexico. At 23, de la Parra founded the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas in 2004, a platform showcasing young performers and composers from the Americas, and has developed a number of education programs in public schools both in Mexico and New York. De la Parra has led more than 70 orchestras around the world, among them the Orchestre de Paris, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Swedish Radio Orchestra, the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.