Ahead of the Australian World Orchestra’s highly anticipated Mahler 9 concerts in Melbourne and Sydney, Limelight talks to AWO Assistant Conductor Louis Sharpe about his relationship with AWO Chief Conductor Alexander Briger and working with an orchestra that feels “like a music camp”.

Louis Sharpe. Photo © Martin Ollman

Tell the readers a little about your journey to the conductor’s podium. Were you one of those kids who was waving a stick in the mirror?

My mum tells me that when I was in primary school, I wrote that I wanted to be a conductor – and everyone assumed I meant train conductor.

I didn’t come to conducting early, but I was lucky in that I had the chance to play lots of different instruments before I found something that suited me. I ended up on the drum kit. I had quite an appreciation for jazz at the time but when I got into the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School, they wanted somebody to play in the orchestra. I was like, ‘I know what...