John Curro AM MBE was both the founder and Director of Music for Queensland Youth Orchestras (QYO), conducting the Queensland Youth Symphony since its beginning in 1966. He was in demand as a conductor and tutor for professional and youth orchestras and festivals.
Mr Curro was a guest conductor at the Tasmanian Conservatorium and Brisbane Philharmonic (also in 2010 and 2011) orchestras. In 2008, he conducted the Queensland Youth Symphony during its 11th international tour with critically acclaimed concerts in Germany, France and Italy.
Mr Curro conducted many of Australia’s professional orchestras as well as many opera and ballet seasons in Australia. His guest conducting appearances included the London Virtuosi, the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, the Australian and Bavarian Youth Orchestra, the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra, and Principal Guest Conductor with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.
Throughout his distinguished career, Mr Curro received many prestigious awards including Member of the Order of Australia and Member of the British Empire. He received Honorary Doctorates from the University of Queensland and Griffith University, Rotary International’s Paul Harris Fellow award, the Australian Music Centre (Qld) Award, the Don Banks Music Award, the Sir Bernard Heinze Memorial Award, the Orchestras Australia Lifetime Achievement award and the Queensland Premier’s Millenium Award for Excellence in the Arts.
John Curro inspired many thousands of musicians. His passion and tireless service to the music community and music education sector in Australia has been simply extraordinary. He touched and enriched the lives of so many students, fellow educators and musicians.
John is a Queensland legend and he will be deeply missed by Australia’s music community and beyond.