SYO Artistic Director Christopher Lawrence

Sydney Youth Orchestras is partnering with Create NSW to develop conductors of the  future through the inaugural Conductor NSW Orchestral (Early Career) Fellowship. The  first ever recipient is Mr Leonard Weiss. 

“I am humbled and tremendously excited to be awarded this fellowship with Sydney Youth  Orchestras,” says Leonard. “SYO has one of the richest networks of artistic staff in the  country, and the success of their programs are evident in an extensive alumni network of  leading professional musicians. I am immensely looking forward to the opportunity to assist  and learn from some of Australia’s most beloved conductors. And, of course, I am elated by  the idea of conducting rehearsals with a range of SYO ensembles as we delve into some  iconic repertoire together.” 

Christopher Lawrence, SYO’s Artistic Director, and part of the judging panel, says, “It is  crucial for our government and our arts organisations to invest in Australian artists and in  the future of Australian arts practices. This initiative ticks all the boxes; it’s innovative,  exciting, advances the art of conducting, and advances youth music in NSW. Without the  support of Create NSW, SYO would not have been able to achieve this on our own. The work  that SYO does to build the future of music and musicians is truly phenomenal, but the future  needs conductors too!” 

Mr Weiss, having studied with Marin Alsop at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins  University, brings a depth of skills and talent to this position, including acting as the Musical  Director and Conductor of the National Capital Orchestra and the Canberra Youth Orchestra.  “I can’t imagine where this opportunity will lead to, but I know that this process will be one  that opens many doors and paves the way for subsequent musical adventures,” says  Leonard. 

SYO welcomes Mr Weiss to its illustrious legacy and looks forward to him taking the podium to  lead the best young musicians of NSW while benefiting from exposure to SYO’s artistic  networks.  

Through the support of Create NSW and SYO, Leonard Weiss will receive $30,000 in  funding; $20,000 in financial support from Create NSW, with $10,000 in-kind support in the  form of mentoring and professional development from SYO. Leonard will undertake a  broad-ranging professional development over 12 months (part-time) with the SYO. 

Featured image : Promising young conductor Leonard Weiss


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