Simone Margaret Young AM (born 2 March 1961) is an Australian conductor. She was born in Sydney, of Irish ancestry on her father's side and Croatian ancestry on her mother's side. Young was educated at the Monte Sant' Angelo Mercy College in North Sydney. She studied composition, piano and conducting at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
Commencing in 1983, Young worked at Opera Australia as a répétiteur under various conductors, including Charles Mackerras, Richard Bonynge, Carlo Felice Cillario and Stuart Challender. Young started her operatic conducting career at the Sydney Opera House in 1985. In 1986 she was the first woman and youngest person to be appointed a resident conductor with Opera Australia. She received an Australia Council grant to study overseas, and was named Young Australian of the Year. In her early years, she was assistant to James Conlon at the Cologne Opera, and to Daniel Barenboim at the Berlin State Opera and the Bayreuth Festival. 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 being the excessive expense of her programming ideas.
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. In 2006, she became Professor of Music and Theatre at the University of Hamburg. Critics of the magazine Opernwelt selected her in October 2006 as the Dirigentin des Jahres (Conductor of the Year). In December 2011, it was announced that Young would conclude her tenures with both the Hamburg State Opera and the Hamburg Philharmonic after the 2014/2015 season.
Young was the first female conductor at the Vienna State Opera in 1993. She conducted the Sydney Symphony Orchestra when they performed Elena Kats-Chernin's "Deep Sea Dreaming" at the 2000 Summer Olympics opening ceremony in Sydney. In November 2005, she was the first female conductor to conduct the Vienna Philharmonic. Her discography includes most of the symphonies of Anton Bruckner (the Study Symphony, and nos. 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8), and the complete Ring Cycle of Richard Wagner; she was the first woman to have recorded either of these cycles (complete or not). She has also recorded the complete cycle of Brahms' symphonies.
In the major operatic anniversary year 2013, Young conducted the entire 'Bayreuth canon' of ten Wagner operas at a festival entitled 'Wagner-Wahn' in Hamburg, along with three rarely performed Giuseppe Verdi operas from his 'galley years' as a trilogy in September to November - La battaglia di Legnano, I due Foscari, I Lombardi alla prima crociata, which the Opera magazine reviewer considered major highlights of the year.
Young is married and has two daughters. She notably made her first appearance at the Metropolitan Opera while she was five months pregnant and conducted at the Vienna State Opera one month prior to giving birth in 1997. 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".
- Simone Young: To Hamburg from Downunder, documentary, directed by Ralf Pleger, Ovation, (2008)
- Poulenc: Dialogues of the Carmelites, Hamburg State Opera, Arthaus Musik (2008)
- Pfitzner: Palestrina, Bavarian State Orchestra, EuroArts (2010)
- Reimann: Lear, Staatsoper Hamburg, Arthaus Musik (2015)
- Halévy: La Juive, Vienna State Opera, RCA (2002)
- Wagner: Tenor Arias, Johan Botha (tenor), Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Oehms Classics (2004)
- Bürger: Stille der Nacht, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Toccata Classics (2006)
- Hindemith: Mathis der Maler, Philharmoniker Hamburg, Oehms Classics (2007)
- Britten: Folksong Arrangements, Steve Davislim (tenor), Simone Young (piano), Melba (2007)
- Bruckner: Symphony No. 2, Philharmoniker Hamburg, Oehms Classics (2007)
- Verdi: Requiem, Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, ABC Classics, (2007)
- Wagner, Strauss: Transcendent Love: The Passions of Wagner and Strauss, Lisa Gasteen (soprano), West Australian Symphony Orchestra, ABC Classics (2008)
- Dean: Brett Dean, Composer and Performer, Brett Dean (viola), cellos of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Bis (2008)
- Wagner: Das Rheingold, Philharmoniker Hamburg, Oehms Classics (2008)
- Bruckner: Symphony No. 3, Philharmoniker Hamburg, Oehms Classics (2008)
- Wagner, Verdi, Mozart: Knut Skram, Opera Arias, Knut Skram (baritone), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Simax (2008)
- Wagner: Die Walküre, Philharmoniker Hamburg, Oehms Classics (2009)
- Bruckner: Symphony No. 8, Philharmoniker Hamburg, Oehms Classics (2009)
- Brahms: Symphony No. 1, Philharmoniker Hamburg, Oehms Classics (2010)
- Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 - Romantic (1874 version), Philharmoniker Hamburg, Oehms Classics (2010)
- Strauss: Seduction: Songs by Richard Strauss, Steve Davislim (tenor), Orchestra Victoria, Melba Recordings (2010)
- Wagner: Siegfried, Philharmoniker Hamburg, Oehms Classics (2011)
- Wagner: Götterdämmerung, Philharmoniker Hamburg, Oehms Classics (2011)
- Mahler: Symphony No. 2, Philharmoniker Hamburg, Oehms Classics (2012)
- Mahler: Symphony No. 6, Philharmoniker Hamburg, Oehms Classics (2012)
- Brahms: Symphony No. 2, Philharmoniker Hamburg, Oehms Classics (2012)
- Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen, box set, Philharmoniker Hamburg, Oehms Classics (2012)
- Bruckner: Symphony No. 0, Philharmoniker Hamburg, Oehms Classics (2013)
- Brahms: Symphony No. 3 & No. 4, Philharmoniker Hamburg, Oehms Classics (2013)
- Bruckner: Study Symphony in F minor, Philharmoniker Hamburg, Oehms Classics (2014)
- Bruckner: Symphony No. 5 in B-flat Major, Philharmoniker Hamburg, Oehms Classics (2015)
- Schmidt: The Book with Seven Seals, Philharmoniker Hamburg, NDR Chor, Staatschor Latvija, Oehms Classics (2016)
- Bruckner: Complete Symphonies, box set, Philharmoniker Hamburg, Oehms Classics (2016)
- Simone Young: Die Dirigentin: Ein portrat, Ralf Pleger, Hamburg, Europaische Verlagsanstalt, 2006 (text in German)
- Prof. Dr. Darko Žubrinić, "Simone Young Australian conductor of Croatian mother and Irish father". Croatian World Network, 16 September 2010
- Katrina Strickland (27 May 2005). "OA turns corner on debt". The Australian. Retrieved 6 April 2008.
- John Carmody (16 December 2005). "Sensitive autocrat in a season of content". The Australian. Retrieved 6 April 2008.
- "Simone Young will 2015 an der Staatsoper aufhören". Hamburger Abendblatt (in German). 8 December 2011. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
- "Simone Young to conduct Vienna Philharmonic". The Sydney Morning Herald. 9 November 2005. Retrieved 4 January 2007.
- "Eight passionate amateurs bid to become BBC Two's Maestro" (Press release). BBC. 23 May 2008. Retrieved 24 May 2008.
- Limelight Awards: 2012 Winners Announced!, 17 December 2012; Retrieved 11 April 2013
- Canning, Hugh. Report from Hamburg. Opera, February 2014, Vol 65 No 2, p185-7.
- Simone Young new Member of the Board, 16 March 2016; Retrieved 16 March 2016
- Blair Tindall (January 14, 2005). "Call Me Madame Maestro". The New York Times.
Media related to Simone Young at Wikimedia Commons
|Principal Conductor, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
|Music Director, Opera Australia
|Music Director, Hamburg State Opera