This young conductor just received an honor of a lifetime

Meet Alondra de la Parra, the 34-year-old conductor and founder of the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas. Today, Alondra has been appointed the first music director of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in Brisbane, Australia.

“I am truly excited to take on this new role and return to Queensland – earlier in the year I had the pleasure of working closely with the QSO musicians and team, performing and creating and I know that all the ingredients are there for us to build an exciting future together and that we will do,” Alondra said in a statement posted on the QSO website.

The New York-born musical genius moved to Mexico when she was just a toddler and it was at Mexico’s Center of Research and Musical Studies that she first realized her calling. She went on to study at the Manhattan School of Music and later founded the New York-based Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas as an undergraduate at the age of 23.

Her newfound position as the music director of the Queensland Symphony isn’t Alondra’s only “first.” When asked to produce a 65-piece orchestra concert by the Mexican Consulate, Alondra became the first woman to ever conduct a concert in New York City. Keep in mind, she was 24.

Considering her past accomplishments, becoming the first director of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra seems like the perfect position for Alondra, and she agrees. “For me, it’s as if I were a chef and I went to a kitchen where everything was clean, chopped, they had all the right ingredients, great pots and pans, all the knives were sharpened and they’re asking me to cook,’’ she said in a phone interview with The New York Times. “It’s perfect.”

Alondra will open Queensland’s 2016 season in February with a performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2.

Catch her and her mesmerizing performance of Danzón No. 2, below.

(Image via Sony Classical)