Simon Hewett is the Principal Conductor of the Stuttgart Opera, and Principal Conductor of the Hamburg Ballet.
In addition to his commitments with these two companies, he has performed regularly in recent seasons with Opera Australia in Sydney and Melbourne, the Komische Oper in Berlin, and the Paris Opera Ballet. His performances are frequently praised for their stylistic fluency, emotional intensity and technical precision.
Simon Hewett studied clarinet and conducting at the University of Queensland, graduating with First Class Honours and a University Medal. At 19, he was the youngest ever finalist in the ABC Young Conductor of the Year Award, and conducted the West Australian Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Hindemith’s Symphonische Metamorphosen. In 1998, he was awarded a German Government Scholarship and studied operatic and symphonic conducting for three years at the Franz Liszt Hochschule für Musik in Weimar, Germany.
From 2002-03 Simon Hewett was a member of Opera Australia’s Young Artists’ Programme, and made his debut at the Sydney Opera House in October 2003, conducting Bizet’s Les Pecheurs du Perles. He was immediately reengaged for performances of Il Barbiere di Siviglia in 2004. He has since returned regularly to Opera Australia as a guest conductor, for Tosca (2005), Turandot (2006), and to lead the revival of Harry Kupfer’s critically acclaimed production of Otello (2008). He returned to Sydney in 2009 for Aida and a new production of Cosi fan Tutte with director Jim harman. In 2011, he conducted Macbeth for Opera Australia and Falstaff for the West Australian Opera. In 2012 he led critically acclaimed new productions of Le Nozze die Figaro and Salome for Opera Australia.
In 2005, Simone Young invited Simon Hewett to join the Hamburg State Opera as Resident Conductor and Assistant Music Director. Since his debut with La Traviata in 2005, he has conducted over 200 performances in Hamburg of a large repertoire of opera and ballet. In 2008, he debuted at the Komische Oper with Der Barber von Sevilla, returning in 2010 for Die Entführung aus dem Serail. Following successful performances of Der Fliegende Holländer for the Stuttgart Opera in 2010, Simon Hewett was invited to become Principal Conductor. In 2012/13 he led revivals of Die Fledermaus and Tosca, in the 2013/14 season he will conduct a new production of La Bohème, and revivals of Eugen Onegin and Nabucco.
As a symphonic conductor Simon Hewett has appeared with the Melbourne Symphony, Sydney Symphony and West Australian Symphony Orchestras. His interest in contemporary music is documented through his long relationship with the Elision Contemporary Music Ensemble, with whom he has performed frequently since 1996, touring with them to Korea in 1997, and Europe in 1998. He has performed with Elision at all of Australia’s major festivals, conducting the world premieres of Richard Barrett’s Opening of the Mouth, and Liza Lim’s opera Moon Spirit Feasting. His CD of Richard Barrett’s Opening of the Mouth with the Elision Ensemble was reviewed by the BBC Music Magazine upon its release as ‘Pick of the Month’.
Since conducting the premiere of John Neumeier’s Parzival at the Baden Baden Festspielhaus in 2006, Simon Hewett has enjoyed a close and productive collaboration with the Hamburg Ballet. He has toured with the Hamburg Ballet to Japan (February 2009), and he has conducted Neumeier’s productions of Mahler’s 3rd Symphony at the Paris Opera (Bastille), and the 7th and 10th Symphonies at the Hamburg State Opera. Since the beginning of the 2009/10 season, Simon Hewett has been Principal Conductor for the Hamburg Ballet. In 2014, he will conduct the world premiere of John Neumeier’s interpretation of Pushkin’s Onegin, Tatyana, with original music composed by Lera Auerbach.