Chris Dragon. Picture: Nik Babic

Chris Dragon has capped a stellar year by being named the inaugural assistant conductor at the WA Symphony Orchestra.

Dragon, 22, was appointed after a series of auditions by Perth-based conductors last month.

"I would think that it's every music student's dream to be part of their State orchestra and I feel so lucky for this dream to be fulfilled," he said. "We have such a fantastic orchestra in WA."

The new scheme to support emerging WA conductors has been made possible with the support of the Simon Lee Foundation and Symphony Services International.

Dragon will hone his skills by working with WASO principal conductor Paul Daniel, international guest artists and WASO musicians and staff.

A WAAPA music graduate, Dragon plays the clarinet in the WA Youth Orchestra and began his conducting studies in 2011 after winning the WA Youth Orchestra's Woodside Concerto Competition. He also has worked with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Auckland Philharmonia.

Last year, he was invited as a conducting fellow to the Pacific Music Festival in Japan by Fabio Luisi, principal conductor of The Metropolitan Opera.

This year, he will participate in numerous courses overseas, including the Jarvi Winter Academy in Estonia, with Leonid Grin and a masterclass in the Czech Republic with Jorma Panula, former head of conducting studies at the Sibelius Academy.

In 2011, he co-founded the Swan Philharmonic, an orchestra that combines professional players with the next generation of orchestral musicians.

The West Australian

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