Human rights and international law expert Professor Hilary Charlesworth, says that Australia's appointment to the UN Human Rights Council gives the country an opportunity to examine its own human rights record.
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The award is presented annually by the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music at the University of Melbourne and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) Friends.
“Over the past two decades, working with premier opera companies and prestigious symphony orchestras in Australia and internationally, Simone Young has reinforced her reputation as one of the leading conductors of her generation,” said Professor Gary McPherson, Director of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.
“She is acclaimed by both the profession and public alike for her musical programming and performance successes.”
On behalf of the MSO Friends Jacci Simpson said: “The Friends are proud to support the presentation of this award to Simone Young which is given in recognition of her work promoting excellence in music in Australia, and as a worthy ambassador for Australia on the world stage.”
The award honours the memory of Sir Bernard Heinze (1894-1982), Ormond Professor of Music at the University of Melbourne for 31 years and one of the major pioneers of orchestral musical life in Australia. Former winners include: Maestro Richard Bonynge, pianist Stephen McIntyre, singer Yvonne Kenny, composer Peter Sculthorpe, conductor John Hopkins, horn player Barry Tuckwell, violinist Richard Tognetti, conductor and composer Brett Dean and music educator Sir Frank Callaway.
The award includes a commemorative medal and monetary prize.
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Biography – Simone Young
Australian-born Simone Young is internationally recognised as one of the leading conductors of her generation.
In August 2005 she took up the post of General Manager and Music Director of the Hamburg State Opera, Music Director of the Hamburg Philharmonic and has already celebrated many outstanding successes including the Hamburg Ring Cycle, Simon Boccanegra, Tristan und Isolde, Mathis der Maler, Salome, Palestrina, Bliss and Daphne. This contract has been extended until 2015.
She was Music Director of Opera Australia from 2001 to 2003, Chief Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra from 1999 to 2002 and among others has conducted the Berlin, Vienna, Munich, London and New York Philharmonic Orchestras, the Staatskapelle Dresden and the Bruckner Orchestra, Linz.
Simone has been elected to the Akademie der Kuenste in Hamburg, nominated ‘Conductor of the Year’ by Opernwelt Magazine and awarded a Professorship at the Musikhochschule in Hamburg. She has received Honorary Doctorates from Monash University and the University of New South Wales, and has been honoured with the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from France. She was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2004 and in 2005 received the prestigious Goethe Institute Medal.
Simone Young regularly returns to Australia, this year to conduct the West Australian and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras and the inaugural concert of the Australian World Orchestra.