Introducing Our Conducting Fellows

2017 Conducting Fellowship, supported by Bijl Architecture. The 2017 Conducting Fellowship gives young aspiring conductors the opportunity to work with a range of Sydney Youth Orchestra ensembles – educating them how to prepare repertoire, conduct rehearsals and performances, and providing them with one-on-one sessions with SYO conductors (including Artistic Director and Chief Conductor, Alex Briger).

Meet Christine Savage, our second recipient of the 2017 Conducting Fellowship. Read our Q&A with Christine, to get to know her a little better!


What inspired you to start conducting?

Before I even tried conducting, I found the profession itself to be intriguing. I remember telling a piano student that it was a career I admired, and thought of as one of the most demanding jobs in the world. So naturally, I decided to take it up and give it a go after seeing the inspiring work of my peers, professors and performances by world class orchestras.

What are you looking forward to most about working with SYO?

I’m looking forward to uncovering the wealth of knowledge and experience of the SYO team, from the musicians to the conductors to the administrators, and learning how so many different types of people come together to create a unified ensemble and execute a composer’s vision.

If you could invite 3 people, alive or dead, to a dinner party who would they be?

Bill Evans, Mitsuko Uchida and Herman Hesse.

Tell us something interesting about yourself. 

Throughout my school years, I played the clarinet, saxophone and a little bit of bass – though I always came back to my first and favourite instrument, the piano.


Welcome to SYO Christine!

To get to know Sam a little better we asked him a few questions about himself…

What made you want to start conducting? When did you start conducting?

I began conducting in year 10 at Newtown HS of the Performing Arts. When my music teacher Emlyn Lewis-Jones went on holiday he asked me to rehearse the school orchestra in his absence. The first piece I conducted at Newtown was Rossini’s William Tell Overture- it’s an absolute hoot and will always be a piece that I hold very close to me. The same year I was extremely fortunate to conduct the Newtown orchestra in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House in an exchange performance between Sydney and Beijing.

What are you looking forward to most about working with SYO?

I am looking forward to developing my pedagogical skills with SYO’s junior orchestras as well as of course the amazing opportunity to work with SYO’s Flagship Orchestra. It will be great to be exposed to so much repertoire over the coming months.

If you could invite 3 people, alive or dead, to a dinner party who would they be?

Number one would definitely have to be Leonard Bernstein- what a man. JK Rowling because of Harry Potter and probably Steven Hawking because space is nuts.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.

I really like socks- I have a pair with smoking prawns which I think are pretty groovy. I also have a pair of pants that people say look like chef pants but I reckon they are cool.

Welcome to SYO Sam!