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Simone Young


Australian-born Simone Young is internationally recognised as one of the leading conductors of her generation. In 2005 she took up the post of General Manager and Music Director of the Hamburgische Staatsoper and Music Director of the Philharmonic State Orchestra Hamburg, where she conducts repertoire ranging from Mozart, Verdi, Puccini, Wagner and Strauss, to Hindemith, Britten and Henze. She is an acknowledged interpreter of the operas of Wagner and Strauss, and has conducted several complete cycles of Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Vienna Staatsoper, the Staatsoper in Berlin and most recently to great acclaim in Hamburg as part of the ‘Wagner-Wahn’ Festival during which she conducted the 10 major Wagner operas. Her Hamburg recordings include the Ring cycle, Mathis der Maler (Hindemith), and symphonies of Bruckner, Brahms and Mahler.

Simone was Music Director of Opera Australia from 2001 to 2003, Chief Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra from 1999 - 2002 and from 2005 – 2012 was Principal Guest Conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra, Lisbon. She has conducted at all the leading opera houses including the Vienna Staatsoper, Opéra National de Paris, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Bayerische Staatsoper, Metropolitan Opera New York, Los Angeles Opera and Houston Grand Opera. Whilst Music Director of Opera Australia her development of musical standards in the company received praise from the profession and the public alike. During this time, productions she conducted included Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Otello, Eugene Onegin, Lulu, Lucia di Lammermoor, Tristan und Isolde, Tannhäuser, Falstaff, Don Carlos, Andrea Chenier, La bohème, Don Giovanni and Le nozze di Figaro (from the fortepiano), Katya Kabanova, Un Ballo in Maschera, Der Rosenkavalier and Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci.

Simone Young has conducted the world’s leading orchestras including the Berlin, Vienna, Munich, London and New York Philharmonic Orchestras, the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Bruckner Orchestra, Linz, City of Birmingham Symphony, the Monte Carlo Symphony and will return to the Wiener Symphoniker this year for a tour of China.

In 2007 Simone was elected to the Akademie der Kuenste in Hamburg, nominated as the Conductor of the Year by Opernwelt magazine and awarded a Professorship at the Musikhochschule in Hamburg. Other awards include Green Room Awards for her 1996 performances of Die Frau ohne Schatten at the Melbourne Festival, 2001 performances of Tristan und Isolde and 2003 performances of Lulu, the 2005 Helpmann Award for Best Classical Concert with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, the 2002 Helpmann Award for Best Musical Direction (Andrea Chenier) and the Australian Mo Award for “Classical Performer of the Year”. She has received Honorary Doctorates from Griffith University, Monash University and the University of New South Wales, and has been honoured with the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from France. In 2004 she was nominated for a Grammy Award for her recording of La Juive and was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours List.  In 2005 she received the prestigious Goethe Institute Medal and in 2011 was awarded the Sir Bernard Heinze Award.

Simone Young regularly returns to Australia, this year to work with the Melbourne, West Australian and Sydney Symphony Orchestras, Symphony in the Domain for Sydney Festival, as well as the Australian Youth Orchestra and the Australian National Academy of Music, Melbourne. Last year she made her New Zealand debut with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and toured to QPAC in Brisbane with the Hamburg Opera and Ballet, where she conducted performances of Das Rheingold in concert, and Mahler Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection”.  These performances won the 2013 Helpmann Award for the Best Individual Classical Music Performance.