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Simone Young Extends Contract at the Sydney Symphony Orchestra

The Sydney native will continue her work with the orchestra until at least the end of 2026


The Sydney Symphony Orchestra has extended the contract of its Chief Conductor, Simone Young, until the end of 2026. Young has held the position since 2020, when she was made Chief Conductor Designate. At that point, she became only the third Australian ever to hold the position.

Hailing originally from Sydney, Young has conducted ensembles including the New York, Los Angeles, Berlin, Vienna, Munich, Stockholm, New Japan, Helsinki, BBC and Dresden Philharmonic Orchestras.

Young was Music Director of Opera Australia from 2001 to 2003, Chief Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra from 1999 to 2002, and from 2007 to 2012, she was Principal Guest Conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra, Lisbon.

Since 2017 she has been the Principal Guest Conductor of the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra.

In 2023, she became the first woman to conduct a full Ring Cycle at Bayreuth — as well as becoming the first Australian to be afforded that honor.

"This orchestra means a huge amount to me," said Young. "It was the orchestra I then grew up with as my passion for music developed. It was the orchestra for which I queued up for hours to get standing room tickets. It was the orchestra through which I discovered a huge amount of repertoire for the first time – and that stays with you."

"What I have always loved about this orchestra is its extraordinary versatility. There are some orchestras where you say, 'Oh, they sound great playing Russian music,' or 'they sound fantastic in the late Romantic music.' This orchestra has always had a huge breadth of repertoire and a breadth of brilliance."

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