Simone Young is considered one of the most important conductors of our time. After completing her musical studies in her native Sydney, she received an award to work at the Cologne Opera where she was quickly appointed Kapellmeister, and then engaged by Daniel Barenboim at Berlin’s Staatsoper Unter den Linden. This launched her international career, which has taken her to nearly all the most important opera houses and symphony orchestras around the world.
Young is currently Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne and maintains a busy conducting schedule in the 2018/19 season, which sees her return once again to Berlin State Opera to conduct Die Frau ohne Schatten, and to Vienna State Opera with Lohengrin. She will also lead performances of From the House of the Dead, Jenufa, and Tannhäuser at Bavarian State Opera, and of Elektra at Oper Zürich. Equally in demand on the concert podium, the 2018/19 season will bring her to orchestras in Stockholm, Lausanne, Berlin, Leipzig, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Detroit, and Australia.
Simone Young’s previous titled positions include Principal Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic (1998-2002); Artistic Director of the Australian Opera (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, she 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 she brought contemporary music to the fore during her time in Hamburg.
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 at the Vienna State Opera and the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin, as well as his Walküre and Die Meistersinger along with Strauss’ Elektra, Salome, Die Frau Ohne Schatten, and Ariadne auf Naxos, along with a new production of Hans Pfitzner’s Palestrina at the Bavarian State Opera. Beyond her numerous performances of Wagner and Strauss operas on Vienna’s famed Ringstrasse, Young’s long relationship with the Vienna State Opera, which began with her debut in 1993, includes the widely acclaimed rediscovery of Fromental Halévy’s La Juive in 1999, along with many of the most famous works of the Italian operatic repertoire. She returned to the Vienna State Opera in the 2011/12 season with a celebrated revival of Strauss’ Daphne, and she remains a regular feature of that house’s programming to this day. Outside of Vienna, Young has appeared as a guest conductor at such world-class opera houses as Opéra National de Paris, the Royal Opera House 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, 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, Young is appearing once again as a regular guest conductor with orchestras around the world, including the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic, and both the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and the Konzerthausorchester of Berlin, in addition to such North American orchestras as the Cincinnati and Dallas Symphonies, and with various orchestras in her native Australia.
Young’s work is also preserved in numerous recordings. In addition to complete recordings of Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler and Wagner’s Ring with the Hamburg State Opera, the OehmsClassics label has released her 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 Halévy’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 Palestrina, and her Hamburg performances of Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites and of Aribert Reimann’s Lear.
Along with her honorary doctorates from the Universities of Sydney and Melbourne, 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.