The West Australian Symphony Orchestra is pleased to announce the appointment of new Assistant Conductor, Thaddeus Huang.

Thaddeus will begin his new position in early 2020 and joins Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser Asher Fisch with WASO for an exciting 2020 season.

“It’s a huge honour, and I couldn’t have asked for a better place to begin this next step in my career than with the beautiful musicians of WASO. I’m absolutely thrilled for the opportunity to work with Asher and can’t wait to join the rich music culture of Perth (and see our country’s best beaches for the first time!)” – Thaddeus Huang.

In 2018 Thaddeus was orchestral assistant to Nicholas Carter in the State Opera of South Australia’s premiere of Brett Dean’s Hamlet, and assisted Mark Wigglesworth at the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.

Currently he serves as Music Director of the Frankston Symphony Orchestra and Australian New Goldberg Orchestra, touring regularly at the Shanghai Symphony’s vibrant Music in the Summer Air Festival, and the Beijing and Jiangsu National Grand Theatres.

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

The Assistant Conductor position is part of WASO’s Young & Emerging Artist Program which identifies, supports and promotes talented young Australian musicians. This position provides a rare opportunity for an aspiring young conductor to gain coveted experience with WASO and Principal Conductor, Asher Fisch.

Carlo Antonioli and Thaddeus Huang

Thaddeus takes over from Carlo Antonioli who held the position for the 2018 and 2019 seasons. For Carlo, the position was an invaluable opportunity, “To learn a wealth of repertoire, develop as a conductor and musician, and become immersed in the day-to-day life of an orchestra has been incredible. To be able to work with an ensemble of WASO’s calibre, a supportive management team and the inspiring Principal Conductor Asher Fisch has been a true privilege.”

2017’s Assistant Conductor position was held by Swiss-Australian Conductor Elena Schwarz. Currently Associate Conductor of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Dudamel Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra for their 2018-2019 season, Elena’s career has gone from strength to strength since her time with WASO. “I was lucky to work with Asher when they did Tristan und Isolde and I saw how an orchestra can really give its best when they are challenged. I felt very fortunate to collaborate with Asher, working with orchestras at a moment when they are doing extremely well artistically.”

Elena Schwarz and Christopher Dragon

Perth-born Christopher Dragon, still a regular on the Perth Concert Hall stage, is now Music Director of the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra as well as Resident Conductor of the Colorado Symphony in the United States. WASO’s Assistant Conductor for three years (2013-2015) Chris will return once again for the 2020 season conducting Naked Classics – The Great Outdoors and Comic-Con.

Chris’ time as Assistant Conductor really left an impression on him, “It’s had the biggest impact on my music career. It really made me change the way that I think about conducting and rehearsing. It was a great time for me to be at WASO when Asher joined because I saw the impact that a music director can actually make in an orchestra.”


The WASO Assistant Conductor position is 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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