Alondra de la Parra

written by Alison Kubler

Mexican conductor Alondra de la Parra appears remarkably unharried for a maestro about to start rehearsal with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO) for a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 (with Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 1 thrown in for good measure) in three days’ time. At 37 she is one of the youngest, most feted conductors in the world, currently residing in Brisbane in the midst of her three-year residency in the unprecedented dual role of Music Director and Conductor of the QSO. After studying piano and composition and conducting in New York, in 2004 at age 23, De La Parra founded the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas (POA). She has collaborated with artists including Geoffrey Rush and Robert Redford, filmmaker Michel Gondry, choreographer Christopher Wheeldon and musicians such as Plácido Domingo, Pinchas Zukerman, Joshua Bell, Sarah Chang, Gustavo Santaolalla and Gloria Estefan, among others.

I’m interested to know how this journey began for you. You’re a young woman in classical music.
It’s quite specific to be a conductor. It’s not like another kind of profession that you might fall into. You don’t fall into conducting.

No! Well, I started when I was very young in music, because at home there was always music. Even though my parents were not professional musicians, we were always taken to concerts and we were exposed to a lot of music of many sorts. I started my relationship with music early on: piano since I was seven and then at 13, cello. I was fascinated by the orchestral repertoire. That’s what I really liked to listen to, even though I listened to all sorts of other .. Subscribe to read this article in full


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