Simone Young takes top job in Sydney

Sydney Symphony Orchestra (SSO) has hired one of its own as its next chief conductor: Simone Young. Born in Sydney, she will return to her hometown and take up the post in 2022.

It will be the first major job she’s held in Australia; however, her CV includes top European appointments. She spent 10 years as artistic director of the Hamburg State Opera and music director of the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra, while currently she is principal guest conductor of the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra. She was also the first woman to conduct at the Vienna State Opera back in 1993.

“It is an orchestra I know and love,” remarked Young. “I grew up with the SSO and its performances provided me with a rich experience of music which I was able to take with me from my high school days to the moment I first stepped on a podium.

“Since my first appearances with the SSO 23 years ago, I have witnessed its extraordinary artistic growth. It’s a virtuosic ensemble and it is an orchestra of which every Australian can be proud.”

Young’s work with SSO will begin before 2022 so that she can help create the programme for that season. The start of her tenure coincides with the orchestra’s return to Sydney Opera House Concert Hall, which is now closed for renovation.

Continued Young: “With the completion of the acoustic refurbishment, audiences will be able to experience the extraordinary musical quality of the Sydney Symphony with every performance. The acoustic renewal of the Concert Hall is a wonderful and appropriate gift and will ensure that the orchestra reaches even greater heights of performance.”