German-born Fritzsch has enjoyed a long association with the TSO and is well known to Tasmanian audiences, having first conducted the orchestra in 2001 and returned as a guest conductor on many occasions since then.
In addition to conducting concerts in the TSO’s main subscription series, he has been actively involved in some of the orchestra’s other activities, notably in leading training programs for up-and-coming conductors from all around the country and overseas.
“I have always enjoyed working with the TSO,” said Maestro Fritzsch, “it is a very fine orchestra with an extraordinary sense of ensemble, not just musically, but also personally and as an organisation.
“Together we have nurtured a relationship based on mutual respect and open mindedness, and I look forward to deepening that relationship further and bringing great music to Tasmanian audiences.”
For more than three decades Johannes Fritzsch has been active as a conductor in Europe, Asia and Australia. His most recent on-going position in Europe was Chief Conductor of the Graz Opera and the Graz Philharmonic Orchestra in Austria from 2006 to 2013.
His connection with Australia dates from 1992 as a guest conductor for Opera Australia. Many engagements with Opera Australia in Sydney and Melbourne followed as well as with Opera Queensland, and he conducted all of the major Australian orchestras. From 2008 to 2014 he was Chief Conductor of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and now holds the position of Conductor Laureate with that orchestra.
“Johannes has built a rapport with the orchestra and its audience over many years,” said TSO Managing Director Nicholas Heyward, “and we were thrilled when he moved to Hobart. As Principal Guest Conductor he’ll be even more closely connected. His particular interest in training young conductors and his role as Director of the TSO’s National Conducting Academy will further strengthen this connection.”
Hobart-based Fritzsch is married to violinist Dr Susan Collins, Coordinator of Strings and Orchestral Music at the Conservatorium of Music, University of Tasmania.
The Principal Guest Conductor position will be for three years, commencing January 2018.