After seven long months of silence and six missed Maestro concerts when the 2020 pandemic cast us out into arts-free oblivion, the Concert Hall of the Queensland Performing Arts Centres thundered with the effusive COVID-approved stamping ovation at the Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s Gala Return Concert: Beethoven 5. Funded through the Queensland Government’s $22.5 million two-year Arts and Cultural Recovery Package, the QSO with its stellar Conductor Laureate Johannes Fritzsch back at the podium, was determined that live music would live again. There was no finer choice to reboot the Maestro series than in celebration of 250 years since the birth of Beethoven with his 1808 Fifth symphony  in four movements, moving from darkness to light, highlighting his turmoil and fortitude as he struggled with progressing deafness. Beethoven’s Fifth is the perfect metaphor for 2020’s World COVID pandemic, celebrating the resilience of humanity.

Johannes Fritzsch and the musicians of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Photograph © Peter Wallis

No longer can the usually packed audience be taken for granted. Currently there is 50 percent capacity seating, new entry procedures, contact tracing, and no half-time...

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