The Sydney Youth Orchestra’s season opener is a biggie, with Mahler 10 and Stravinsky’s  FirebirdSuite sharing the bill. No sweat though, as 15-year-old Marcus Michelsen, the SYO’s youngest ever concertmaster, is by all accounts up to the task. Here we talk to Michelsen and conductor Alexander Briger ahead of the Orchestra’s challenging season opener.

Marcus Michelsen. Photo supplied by Sydney Youth Orchestra

Marcus Michelsen

How do you feel about being appointed concertmaster at 15?

I am grateful to Sydney Youth Orchestras for giving me the opportunity to be Concertmaster, and for them take a chance on a younger player. I feel very motivated and inspired from it. I’m thankful to my violin teachers, my fellow musicians, music lovers and the people close to me who have helped me tremendously since I started playing at the age of five. It really has taken a small village to get to where I am today.

You’re stepping into a role at the SYO that has famous predecessors, most notably Richard Tognetti. Do you find this to be daunting?

I have much respect for my predecessors and all the important work they have done to continue the classical music...