Simone Young AM

Simone Young was the first female Australian conductor to achieve internaitonal success.

Honour Roll

Born in Sydney on 2 March 1961, Simone studied at the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music, joining the Australian Opera in 1982.

She made her conducting debut at the Sydney Opera House in 1985 performing The Mikado and the Little Mermaid. She joined the Cologne Opera in 1987 conducting a broad repertoire before joining the Berlin State Opera in 1993. She made important debuts in Berlin and Vienna in 1992 and 1993, especially as the first woman conductor at the Vienna State Opera as well as the Bastille in Paris. She made her British debut in 1994, conducting Rigoletto at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. She conducted a few more operas there before making highly acclaimed performances of Elektra at the Bavarian State Opera.

In 1996, she travelled to New York where she performed La Boheme at the Metropolitan Opera followed by other successful operas. In 1997, she conducted Macbeth at Houston Grand Opera and in 2002 she will work with the Los Angeles Opera for the first time. She also has many engagements booked at the Vienna State Opera, the Berlin State Opera and Covent Garden.

Simone has performed in concerts all around the world including with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, the Maggio Musicale in Florence, the ORF Radio Orchestra Vienna and the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Japan. In October 1998, she appeared with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra to great acclaim. In 1999, she became chief conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra.

In between her overseas engagements Simone returns regularly to Australia. She conducted Elektra for the Sydney Festival in 2000. This year, 2001, she was appointed Opera Australia's music director. Some of her productions for this company have been Tannhauser in 1998 and Falstaff and Don Carlos in 1999. She has also conducted numerous orchestras around the country. She recorded Strauss Songs with the State Orchestra of Victoria on the Melba Recording label in 2000.

Simone won the Australian Mo Award in 1996 for 'Classical Performer of the Year'. In 1998, she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Music from Monash University and has been honoured with the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres from France. In 1987, she was Young Australian of the Year.