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Simone Young

About this Artist

Simone Young is considered one of the most important conductors of our time. After completing her musical studies in her native Sydney, she began her career on the podiums of Germany. This launched her international career, which has taken her to all important opera houses and symphony orchestras around the world.

As a guest conductor, this season she leads productions at the Berlin State Opera (Der Rosenkavalier), the Vienna State Opera (Peter Grimes, Das verratene Meer), the Zurich Opera (Salome), and the Opéra National de Paris (Parsifal). Alongside her work in Sydney this season, Young will guest conduct such orchestras as Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC, and the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra.

In December 2019, the Sydney Symphony announced the appointment of Simone Young as its next chief conductor, effective in 2022. Her previous titled positions include Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestre de 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, Simone Young dedicated herself nearly exclusively to that house, conducting numerous premieres and a diverse repertoire with performances 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 she brought contemporary music to the fore during her time in Hamburg.

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 the Wagner Ring at the Vienna State Opera and the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin, as well as Die Walküre and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg along with Strauss’ Elektra, Salome, Die Frau ohne Schatten, and Ariadne auf Naxos, and she led a new production of Hans Pfitzner’s Palestrina at the Bavarian State Opera. Beyond her numerous performances of Wagner and Strauss operas on Vienna’s famed Ringstrasse, Young’s long relationship with the Vienna State Opera, which began with her debut in 1993, includes the widely acclaimed rediscovery of Fromental Halévy’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 Vienna State Opera in the 2011/12 season with a celebrated revival of Strauss’ Daphne, and she remains a regular feature of that house’s programming to this day. Outside of Vienna, 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, 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 the completion of her tenure in Hamburg, Young is appearing once again as a regular guest conductor with orchestras around the world, including the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Dresden Philharmonic, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, and the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, in addition to several North American orchestras, and with various orchestras in her native Australia.