Australian-born Simone Young is internationally recognised as one of the leading conductors of her generation, and is regularly invited by the world’s leading orchestras and major opera houses across Europe, the United States and Asia. Her appointment as Chief Conductor Designate with the Sydney Symphony was announced in 2020 and she will take up the post of the orchestra’s Chief Conductor in 2022. From 2005-2015 she was General Manager and Music Director of the Hamburg State Opera and Music Director of the Philharmonic State Orchestra Hamburg, where she conducted 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, having conducted several complete cycles of Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Vienna Staatsoper, the Staatsoper in Berlin and again, 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 Young is the recipient of many awards and honours including the 2019 European Cultural Prize Vienna, the 2014 International Opera Awards for best anniversary production for the Verdi trilogy – La battaglia di Legnano, I due Foscari, I Lombardi with the Hamburg Staatsoper. Her 2012 tour to Brisbane with the Hamburg Opera and Ballet, (Das Rheingold in concert, and Mahler Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection”), won her the 2013 Helpmann Award for the Best Individual Classical Music Performance. She also won the 2011 Sir Bernard Heinze Award, and the 2005 prestigious Goethe Institute Medal. She was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2004, and the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from France. Ms Young has also received Honorary Doctorates from the University of Western Australia, Griffith University, Monash University and the University of New South Wales.
“I am driven to try to live up to the mastery of the great composers and to communicate, as best I can, their powerful messages of compassion and humanity.”