She’s a local girl who made good — really good. Simone Young was born, educated and trained in Sydney. She joined the music staff of Opera Australia in 1983; three years later she went to Europe on a scholarship which resulted in wonderful experience and opportunities as a conductor. Guest engagements conducting acclaimed performances for Opera Australia in the 1990s led to her appointment as Chief Conductor of the company in 2001, an appointment which ended in 2003. Quite simply, she was the big one they let get away. Hamburg didn’t make the same mistake appointing her as Artistic Director of the Hamburg State Opera and Music Director of the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra in 2005, positions she held with distinction until 2015. Now freelancing, in the first six months of this year alone, she has conducted operas and concerts in Frankfurt, Paris, Munich, Berlin, London, Vienna, Barcelona and Dresden. This month she is back here for concerts in Perth and Sydney.
In Perth, on August 4 & 5, Simone Young will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of her first appearance with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra. Then to Sydney for concerts with the SSO on August 17, 18 & 19. The program will be Beethoven Piano Concerto No.2, with distinguished British pianist Imogen Cooper as soloist, then Bruckner’s massive Symphony No.5 with its magnificent finale. We are lucky to enjoy a return to Sydney of a splendid conductor.
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