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Five Questions with Simone Young

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Simone Young is one of Australia’s most accomplished conductors. With a career spanning over 30 years, Simone has worked with some of the very best orchestras across the world. She returns to Melbourne in July to collaborate with the MSO and German violin virtuoso, Kolja Blacher for an evening of Britten and Bruckner.

We’re thrilled to be welcoming you back to Melbourne! How does it feel to be back?
How happy I am to be back again! I first conducted Bruckner 4 in the 90s in Melbourne. It’s wonderful to return and to perform one of my favourite symphonies – Bruckner’s sixth.

What is it about Bruckner 6 that you love?
It’s a monumental and deeply moving symphony. It was his triumph after years of disappointment! Bruckner’s symphonies have been a core of my work for 20 years now, and the complete set of recordings that I made in Hamburg is one of the achievements of which I am most proud.

Does the Britten Violin Concerto hold any special meaning to you?
Perhaps the performance of the concerto which remains uppermost in my mind is the one in Bergen on the 11th of September, 2001. We were all absolutely shattered by the events in New York City and Britten’s most eloquent testament gave our grief a voice.

That must have been a very moving performance. Was there ever a time in your life that you thought working in classical music wasn’t for you?
My first plan was actually to study law! Fortunately, however, I changed my mind before I finished high school.

If you could work with any composer, alive or dead, who would it be?
The list is lengthy and it’s absolutely impossible to limit it to one! But the list includes Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Verdi, Debussy, and of course Britten.

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