Swiss-Australian conductor Elena Schwarz has been announced as the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra’s inaugural Associate Conductor. Her two-year engagement commences in 2019, which will see her join TSO’s artistic leadership team after a year-long tenure in 2017 as its Assistant Conductor.

Elena Schwarz. Photo © Elena Schwarz/Priska Ketterer

“Elena has a great rapport with the orchestra and we are delighted to have her join the Artistic Leadership team in an ongoing role,” said TSO’s Managing Director Nicholas Heyward. “It’s been wonderful to watch her mature as a conductor and we’re very pleased to continue to be a part of her journey as her international career goes from strength to strength.”

“The collaboration with TSO and my tenure as assistant in 2017 have been instrumental in my development as a conductor, and I’m delighted to continue to work with the wonderful musicians and team,” said Schwarz. “I’m honoured by the appointment to Associate Conductor and I look forward to returning regularly to Tasmania.”

As Assistant Conductor, Schwarz is set to make her main series debut with the orchestra as well as helm a number of significant projects such as recordings, family and education concerts, and elite training programs.

Schwarz’s appointment is partially funded by the estate of the late Dr Louise Crossley, whose bequest to the TSO in 2015 was intended for the development and identification of opportunities for women conductors. Schwarz will return the favour when she continues her work in the Louise Crossley Conducting Workshop, the first of which she headed this year, an elite training program for women conductors.

Concurrent with her time as Assistant Conductor with the TSO, Schwarz also served as Assistant Conductor to both West Australian Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Her appointment to Associate Conductor with the TSO is the latest in a string of achievements – in July, Schwarz was selected for the prestigious Los Angeles Philharmonic’s 2018/19 Dudamel Fellowship Program, which will see her conduct at the Walt Disney Concert Hall later this year.

Schwarz’s engagement follows the recently announced appointment of TSO Chief Conductor and Artistic Director Eivind Aadland, who commences his three-year tenure in 2020.