Simone Young is considered one of the most important conductors of our time. After completing her musical studies in her native Sydney, Ms. Young began her career on the podium in Germany. This launched her international career, which has taken her to nearly all the most important opera houses and symphony orchestras around the world.
Ms. Young starts her position as Chief Conductor of the Sydney Symphony in autumn 2020. As a guest conductor this season she leads productions at the Berlin State Opera (Verdi Gala, Die Frau ohne Schatten, Der Rosenkavalier), the Vienna State Opera (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Das verratene Meer) and the Bavarian State Opera (Tannhäuser). Alongside her work in Sydney this season, Ms. Young will guest conduct such orchestras as the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, BBC Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lyon, Chicago Symphony, Orchestre Metropolitan de Montreal, DSO Berlin, and Orchestre National de France.
Ms. Young’s previous titled positions include: Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestre Chambre de Lausanne (2017-2020), Principal Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic (1998-2002); Artistic Director of Opera Australia (2001-2003); Principal Guest Conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon; Artistic Director of the Hamburg State Opera and Chief Music Director of the Hamburg Philharmonic (2005-2015).
During her tenure in Hamburg, Ms. Young dedicated herself nearly exclusively to that house, conducting numerous premieres and a diverse repertoire with performance of such wide-ranging composers as Mozart, Verdi, Puccini, Wagner, Strauss, Hindemith, Britten and Henze. This period was further distinguished by many World and German Premieres, as Ms. Young brought contemporary music to the fore during her time in Hamburg.
Ms. Young is well known as a Wagner and Strauss specialist, a reputation she developed early in her career when she conducted multiple complete cycles of Wagner’s “Ring” at the Vienna State Opera and the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin, as well as his Walküre and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg along with Strauss’ Elektra, Salome, Die Frau Ohne Schatten and Ariadne auf Naxos, and also with a new production of Hans Pfitzner’s Palestrina at the Bavarian State Opera. Beyond her numerous performances of Wagner’s and Strauss’ operas on Vienna’s famed Ringstrasse, Ms. Young’s long relationship with the Vienna State Opera, which began with her debut in 1993, includes the widely acclaimed rediscovery of Fromental Halevy’s La Juive in 1999, along with many of the most famous works of the Italian operatic repertoire. After her responsibilities in Hamburg kept her away for several years, she returned to the the Vienna State Opera in the 2011/12 season with a celebrated revival of of Strauss’s Daphne, and she remains a regular feature of that house’s programming to this day. Outside of Vienna, Ms. Young has appeared as a guest conductor at such world-class opera houses as Opéra National de Paris, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, and the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and she is a regular guest at the major opera houses in Munich, Berlin, Dresden and Zurich.
Alongside her extensive operatic performances, Ms. Young has also made a name for herself as a symphonic conductor. She has worked with many of the world’s leading orchestras, including among many others, the Philharmonic Orchestras of Berlin, London, Munich, New York, and Vienna. Following completion of her tenure in Hamburg, Ms. Young is appearing once again as a regular guest conductor with orchestras around the world, including the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic and both the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and the Konzerthausorchester of Berlin, in addition to several North American orchestras, and with various orchestras in her native Australia.
Ms. Young’s work is also preserved on numerous recordings. In addition to complete recordings of Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler and Wagner’s “Ring” with the Hamburg State Opera, the OehmsClassics label has released Ms. Young’s recordings with the Hamburg Philharmonic of the complete Bruckner symphonies in their original versions, as well as the complete symphonies of Brahms, Mahler’s Sixth and Seventh Symphonies, and Franz Schmidt’s The Book with the Seven Seals. Her performance of the rediscovery of Halevy’s La Juive at the Vienna State Opera has also been released on CD, while DVDs have been released of her Bavarian State Opera performances of Pfitzner’s Palenstrina, and her Hamburg performances of Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites and of Aribert Reimann’s Lear.
Along with her honorary doctorates from the Universities of Sydney and Melbourne, Ms. Young counts the Brahms Prize of Schleswig-Holstein and the Goethe Medal among her numerous awards and accolades. In addition, she is a “Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres” in France, a Member of the Order of Australia, and a Professor at the Academy of Music and Theatre in Hamburg.
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