Sydney returns home with Simone

Sydney returns home with Simone


norman lebrecht

June 20, 2022

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra is returning to the Sydney Opera House’s renovated Concert Hall for the first time in two and a half years, with a new chief conductor, Simone Young.

Her inaugural performance will be Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony in performances from July 20 to 24.


  • msc says:

    What is it about the builders of concert halls? That is, why for so long did they pay more attention to the outward appearance than the acoustics? Why do they still do so now?

    • MacroV says:

      A fair question in general, but the SOH is a very different animal given its colorful history. The spectacular well-before-its-time exterior of Jorn Utzon was intended to be just as spectacular indoors, but Utzon’s concept wasn’t fulfilled after he left. Also, the big hall was intended to be for both symphony and opera; a mid-course decision to make it a concert hall (and making the second hall the opera space) compromised it all, though who knows if the original concept would have worked.

      Now, you might ask why they didn’t just build a replica of the Concertgebouw or the Musikverein back when they first conceived of the project back in 1956. I guess that whatever their issues with the Utzon design (which of course has paid off in so many ways) , they did want an architectural symbol. Sydney is Sydney because of the SOH.

    • M2N2K says:

      Going out on a proverbial limb with a wild guess, I would suggest that perhaps it is because they are not musicians but architects, most if not all of whom inevitably pay much more attention to and trust their eyes than they quite justifiably do their ears – which is after all precisely why they became architects and not musicians.

  • M2N2K says:

    She is a fine musician indeed, but in my experience she unfortunately has a somewhat unpleasantly overbearing personality to make working with her truly rewarding.

    • Pedro says:

      I attended a superbly conducted Parsifal at the Bastille. She was in the pit with the Paris Opéra Orchestra, the best orchestra in France IMHO.