There’s an undeniable buzz in the air, when legendary conductor Simone Young graces the halls of ANAM. Some of our ANAM Musicians had the privilege of working with Maestro Young last year and are looking forward to working with her again this week. Here’s the inside scoop of what it’s like to work under her baton.

Alden Cai (VIC) horn

What is it about Simone Young’s direction that makes her so highly regarded?

She’s so authoritative in interpreting Late Romantic masterpieces like those by Bruckner, Wagner and Brahms. Energetic, decisive – such a boss!

Were there any interesting moments from rehearsals/the performance last year?

The top highlight was playing under her direction which took us on an unforgettable journey through the moving moments of the slow movement Brahms’s magnificent 4th symphony. Her ability in bringing out magical possibilities from Brahms’ expressive usage of variation (paying homage to Beethoven) was unforgettable.

The other highlight was sensing her high degree of awareness and observation over the entire orchestra. We felt her pro-activeness when she talked to players of parts that conductors usually don’t address directly (e.g. back row of a string section, a second player of the wind section).

How has your time with Simone Young impacted your development as a musician?

Being able to play under a living legend in what was ANAM’s highlight concert of 2014 in perhaps the greatest late-Romantic symphony (Brahms’ 4th symphony) was a priceless privilege and incredible experience. I learnt so much under her constant vigilance and demands, being inspired so much by her incredible understanding of late-Romantic music and by her masterly ways of phrasing.

What are you looking forward to most with regards to this year’s performance?

How she inspires us with her titanic authority in late-Romantic music in another experience involving another Brahms symphony (this time the 2nd).

Nils Hobiger (QLD) cello

What is a rehearsal with Simone Young like?

She has incredibly engaging rehearsals. She’s very efficient and always lets us know why she does what she does, so everyone’s always involved in other member’s improvements. Hearing how she deals with the situations are impressive and often hilarious. I do believe she loves to tell it how it is.

What is it about Simone Young’s direction that makes her so highly regarded?

Her character/being  commands respect with transparency and no effort. She has a very fiery personality. Also being one of few female conductors, hearing about what she has gone up against in her career is inspiring for everyone and also any individual who feels they are faced against unfairly negative odds.

Tickets are selling fast for this Friday night’s performance of Simone Young & Brahms at the Melbourne Recital Centre. Buy your tickets here before they sell out.


Friday 18 September 7:30pm

STANHOPE Fantasia on a theme of Vaughan Williams
DUPARC L’invitation au voyage
DUPARC Chanson triste
DUPARC Le Manoir de Rosemonde
DUPARC Aux étoiles (Poème nocturne)
DUPARC La vie antérieure 
BRAHMS Symphony no. 2 in D major, op. 73

Emma Matthews soprano
Simone Young conductor
ANAM Orchestra


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