The American maestro takes over from Ashkenazy in 2014.

The Sydney Symphony today announced the appointment of David Robertson as its incoming chief conductor and artistic director. The American conductor will take up the post in 2014, when Vladimir Ashkenazy’s four-year term comes to an end.

Sydney Symphony Chairman John Conde says that Robertson was a clear favourite with the musicians from the beginning of the international search for Ashkenazy’s successor, since making his debut with the orchestra in 2003 with the Sibelius Violin Concerto and Nielsen’s Fourth Symphony. The Californian has returned regularly as a guest conductor in the intervening years, giving the Australian premiere of John Adams’s Doctor Atomic Symphony in 2010 and performing Bernstein’s  The Age of Anxiety with his wife, pianist Orli Shaham.

At today’s press conference, live via satellite from New York, Robertson said he “fell in love” with the Sydney Symphony early on in his collaboration with the orchestra. “I was amazed at the incredible artistic dynamic they had. They brought energy, poetry, and a great spirit of fun to everything that they were doing. I can’t wait to get started.”

Robertson, 54, brings a fresh, youthful and distinctly American approach to programming. A protégé of Pierre Boulez and former...

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