27 February 2013
The West Australian Symphony Orchestra is pleased to announce the appointment of Christopher Dragon as their Assistant Conductor for 2013. Christopher was appointed to the position following a series of auditions from Perth-based conductors in January.
WASO’s Assistant Conductorship is a new initiative launched by the Orchestra this year to support emerging West Australian conductors. As WASO’s first Assistant Conductor, Christopher will be given unique opportunities to develop his skills and gain invaluable experience by working with WASO’s musicians and staff, Principal Conductor Paul Daniel and other guest artists throughout 2013. This new program has been made possible thanks to the support of the Simon Lee Foundation and Symphony Services International.
Christopher began his conducting studies in 2011 after completing his Bachelor of Music in clarinet at the WA Academy of Performing Arts and winning the WA Youth Orchestra’s Woodside Concerto Competition. He is a member of the Symphony Services International Conductor Development program and has worked with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Auckland Philharmonia.
Christopher’s profile as a conductor is expanding internationally. Last year he was invited as a conducting fellow to the Pacific Music Festival in Japan by Fabio Luisi, principal conductor of The Metropolitan Opera. In 2013 he will participate in numerous courses overseas including the Järvi Winter Academy in Estonia, with Leonid Grin and a master class in the Czech Republic with Jorma Panula, former head of conducting studies at the Sibelius Academy. Christopher is musical director of the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, the South Side Symphony Orchestra and OperaBox. In 2011 he co-founded his own orchestra, the Swan Philharmonic, an orchestra that combines professional players with the next generation of orchestral musicians.
“I would think that it's every music students’ dream to be part of their state orchestra and I feel so lucky for this dream to be fulfilled,” said Christopher. “We have such a fantastic orchestra in WA and I look forward to learning from not only Principal Conductor Paul Daniel and guest conductors, but also from each of the musicians and administration staff. This is a huge opportunity for me and I’m very grateful to WASO, the Simon Lee Foundation and Symphony Services International for supporting this position and helping to develop the future of Australian conductors.”
Activities to be undertaken by Christopher in the Assistant Conductor role will be tailored to suit his strengths and capabilities. The program may include one-one tuition sessions from Paul Daniel as well as opportunities to work with other guest conductors. Christopher will also have the opportunity to work with WASO musicians and will be able to observe rehearsals and performances, and assist as required.
Through the support of the Simon Lee Foundation, Christopher will also be given the opportunity to join their alumni, which will provide him with valuable networking opportunities in the arts industry.