The West Australian Symphony Orchestra is pleased to announce the eight participants in the inaugural Emerging Conductors program for 2020.

Every year WASO nurtures a new generation of young and emerging artists, assisting them in finding their pathway into the profession and helping to secure a bright future for music in Australia.

Following an extensive application process Elise Chong, Craig Dalton, Shaun Fraser, Kate McNamara, Kate Milligan, Christopher Milne, Izaak Wesson and Jen Winley have been chosen for this rare opportunity.

The program provides these talented artists the opportunity to gain coveted experience working with WASO’s Assistant Conductor Thaddeus Huang and gaining access to WASO rehearsals, concerts and the depth of experience in the company’s orchestral and artistic planning management.


The participants will enjoy masterclasses with Thaddeus, be offered access to WASO concerts and rehearsals and attend and observe the Assistant Conductor’s workshops with Principal Conductor Asher Fisch and the orchestra.

Participants will also attend information sessions with the orchestra’s Artistic Planning team to gain experience, insight and understanding of a fully professional orchestra and how WASO is delivering on the company’s commitment to world class artistic performances, community engagement and building a strong collaborative culture.

Two of the eight participants are Young and Emerging Artist Program alumni, with Kate Milligan a Composition Project participant in 2016 and Izaak Wesson completing WASO’s International Artist Masterclass with Stefan Dohr in 2017. 

The WASO Emerging Conductors program and Assistant Conductor position are supported by the Simon Lee Foundation, which aspires to build an alumni body of young artists that can connect, create and support each other.

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