Australian Conductor Simon Thew has been announced as the new Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Houston Ballet, effective 1 July 2024.

Thew’s appointment bolsters the Australian grip on the company: its current Artistic Director is the former Australian Ballet dancer and choreographer Stanton Welch.

Simon Thew. Photo © Alana Campbell, courtesy of Houston Ballet.

Working with the company since 2022 as associate conductor, Thew has already conducted the Houston Ballet Orchestra (with Maestro Ermanno Florio) across all productions.

A tuba player at first, Thew is a graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where he gained a Master of Music Performance, majoring in conducting. In 2007 he was the first, and only, conductor to be awarded the prestigious Dame Joan Sutherland/Richard Bonynge Travel Scholarship from the Australian Opera Auditions Committee, which enabled further study in Europe.

Thew later served as an assistant conductor on various productions with Opera Australia between 2007 and 2010. In 2010, he held the Hephzibah Tintner Fellowship, giving performance and mentoring opportunities with The Australian Ballet, Opera Australia and the Sydney Symphony.

In 2011,...