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 podium in 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 in the 2022/23 season she leads productions at the Opéra de Paris (“Salome”), at the Vienna State Opera (“Elektra” and “Die Fledermaus”), at the Metropolitan Opera (“Der Rosenkavalier”), while concert invitations lead her to the stages of the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, the Orchestre national de France, the Orquesta nacional de España, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Philharmonia Zürich and the Orchestre national de Lyon.
Since July 2022 Simone Young is Chief Conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Young’s 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, 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 cycle 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 Juivein 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 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, 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.
Ms. Young’s work is also preserved on numerous recordings. In addition to the complete recordings from the Hamburg State Opera of Paul Hindemith’s „Mathis der Maler“ and the complete cycle of Richard Wagner’s „Der Ring des Nibelungen,“ Oehms Classics has also released recordings with the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra. Among others, all Bruckner symphonies have been recorded in their original versions, as well as all symphonies by Johannes Brahms, the 2nd and 6th symphonies by Gustav Mahler and Franz Schmidt’s „Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln“. From Vienna, the recording of „La Juive“ is available on CD, in 2019 a CD recording of Bernhard Lang’s „ParZeFool“ with Klangforum Wien followed, and in 2020 Hans Werner Henze’s „Das verratene Meer“ was published also on CD.
Hans Pfitzner’s „Palestrina“ and Leoš Janáček’s „Aus einem Totenhaus“ from the Bavarian State Opera were released on DVD, as well as Francis Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites“ and Aribert Reimann’s „Lear“ from the Hamburg State Opera.
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 umerous 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.