Simone Young

Simone Young

Simone Margaret Young AM (born 2 March 1961 in Sydney) is an Australian conductor, particularly well known for her work in opera.


Young was educated at the Monte Sant' Angelo Mercy College, in North Sydney. She studied composition and piano in Sydney.


Young started her operatic career at the Sydney Opera House in 1985. In her early years, she was assistant to James Conlon at the Cologne Opera, and to Daniel Barenboim at the Berlin and the Bayreuth. Since then, she has conducted at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, the Vienna State Opera, the Opéra Bastille in Paris, at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and at other important opera houses and with prestigious symphony orchestras worldwide. From 1998 until 2002, Young was principal conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in Norway.

From 2001 to 2003, Young was chief conductor of Opera Australia in Sydney. Her contract was not renewed after 2003, with one given reason as the excessive expense of her programming ideas. [cite news | author=Katrina Strickland | title=OA turns corner on debt | url=,25197,15416040-16947,00.html | work=The Australian | date=Date|2005-05-27 | accessdate=2008-04-06]

Young made her first conducting appearance at the Hamburg State Opera in 1996. In May 2003, she was named both chief executive of the Hamburg State Opera and chief conductor of the Philharmoniker Hamburg, posts which she assumed in 2005.cite news | author=John Carmody | title=Sensitive autocrat in a season of content | url=,25197,17580597-16947,00.html | work=The Australian | date=Date|2005-12-16 | accessdate=2008-04-06] In 2006, she became Professor of Music and Theatre in Hamburg University. Critics of the magazine "Opera World" selected her in October 2006 as the "Dirigentin des Jahres" (Conductor of the Year).

Young was the first female conductor at the Vienna State Opera in 1993. In November 2005, she was the first female conductor to conduct the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra [cite news | title=Simone Young to conduct Vienna Philharmonic | url= | work=Sydney Morning Herald | date=Date|2005-11-09 | accessdate=2007-01-04]

In August 2008 Young is scheduled to appear in the reality tv talent show-themed television series, "Maestro" on BBC Two, when she be part of the judging panel.cite press release
title = Eight passionate amateurs bid to become BBC Two's Maestro
publisher = BBC
date = Date|2008-05-23
url =
accessdate = 2008-05-24

Personal life

Young has received honorary doctorates from the universities of Sydney and Melbourne. She has been appointed a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres of France. On 26 January 2004, in the Australia Day Honours, Young was named a Member of the Order of Australia (AM):

"for service to the arts as a conductor with major opera companies and orchestras in Australia and internationally"


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