Photo courtesy of Klaus Lefebvre.

One of Australia’s most celebrated musical exports was this week awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Griffith University.

Simone Young AM, internationally recognised as one of the leading conductors of her generation, was honoured in recognition of her esteemed career and her association with the Queensland Conservatorium.
Her address to the guests and almost 300 graduates focused on the crucial role of music in societies, communities and individual lives.“For me, music is the most intense of art forms — it appeals to the heart and to the intellect at the same time,” she said.
“The greatest honour I have is to be priviliged to carry the flame of passion and conviction and hand it on to those who wish to follow a life in the arts.”
Her message to the graduates was to “stay informed, always be open and embrace the humanity in your walk of life”.
Simone has conducted at all the leading opera houses including the Vienna Staatsoper, Opéra National de Paris, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Bayerische Staatsoper, Metropolitan Opera New York, Los Angeles Opera and Houston Grand Opera.

Currently Simone is the General Manager and Music Director of the Hamburgische Staatsoper and Music Director of the Philharmonic State Orchestra Hamburg.


She has returned to Australia to conduct Richard Strauss’s monumental An Alpine Symphony on July 28 at QPAC with the Australian Youth Orchestra and Lisa Gasteen AO, and will conduct two performances as part of QPAC’s Hamburg Season from 23-25 August. Her schedule will also take in seven other concerts in Sydney, Perth and Auckland.


The ceremony on Tuesday 24 July was attended by Acting Chancellor Henry Smerdon, Vice Chancellor Professor Ian O’Connor and graduates from Queensland Conservatorium, Queensland College of Art and Griffith Health.