Umberto Clerici

Chief Conductor

Umberto Clerici

After a career spanning more than 20 years as a gifted cello soloist and orchestral musician, Umberto Clerici is widely regarded for his seamless transition to the podium now as an acclaimed conductor. The 2024 season will mark Clerici’s second as Chief Conductor of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in addition to being a frequent guest with several leading orchestras.

Umberto began his career as a virtuoso cellist making his solo debut at the age of 17 performing Haydn’s D Major cello concerto in Japan. After years of performing on the stages of the world’s most prestigious concert halls, Umberto took up the position as Principal cello of the Teatro Regio di Torino following which he was Principal Cello of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra from 2014 to 2021.

It was in Sydney in 2018 that Umberto made his conducting debut with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House. Following a swift trajectory of prestigious conducting engagements, Umberto is now in high demand with the major symphony orchestras throughout Australia and New Zealand.

In addition to his role Chief Conductor of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Umberto's 2024 conducting engagements include returns to the podiums of the Melbourne and West Australian Symphony Orchestras together with a three-week series with the Sydney Symphony for ‘Symphony Hour’ that Umberto himself has expertly curated. Other recent highlights include his debut with the Tasmania Symphony and a hugely successful debut in opera conducting Verdi’s Macbeth with Opera Queensland.

Upcoming European conducting engagements in early 2024 include Elgar’s cello concerto with Steven Isserlis for the Volksoper Vienna, Orchestra del Teatro Massimo in Palermo and Orchestra Regionale Toscana.

As a cellist, Umberto is beloved by audiences worldwide, having performed internationally as a soloist at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Vienna’s Musicverein, the great Shostakovich Hall of St Petersburg, Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, the Salzburg Festival and is one of only two Italians to have ever won a prize for cello in the prestigious International Tchaikovsky Competition.

Umberto plays cellos by Matteo Goffriller (made in 1722, Venezia) and Carlo Antonio Testore (made in 1758, Milano).


Queensland Symphony Orchestra respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land on which the Orchestra works, plays, and creates music, and we pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.