Biography

Career​

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


 Discography

Ms. Young’s work is also preserved on numerous recordings. In addition to complete recordings of Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler and Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen with the Hamburg State Opera, the OehmsClassics label has released Ms. Young’s recordings with the Hamburg Philharmonic of the complete Bruckner symphonies in their original versions, as well as the complete symphonies of Brahms, Mahler’s Sixth and Seventh Symphonies, and Franz Schmidt’s The Book with the Seven Seals. Her performance of the rediscovery of Halevy’s La Juive at the Vienna State Opera has also been released on CD, while DVDs have been released of her Bavarian State Opera performances of Pfitzner’s Palenstrina and and of Janáček’s From the House of the Dead and her Hamburg performances of Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites and of Aribert Reimann’ Lear. In 2019 a CD with Bernhard Lang’s ParZeFool (Der tumbe Thor) with the Klangforum Wien has been released.


Awards

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 numerous 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.