West Australian Symphony Orchestra announce the appointment of Perth musician Jen Winley as Assistant Conductor for 2022.
Jen Winley, credit Shea Walshe

One of Western Australia’s brightest rising stars in the conducting world, Jen will assist Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor Asher Fisch and other WASO guest conductors for the 2022 season.

“I am absolutely delighted to be appointed as the 2022 WASO Assistant Conductor. I have so much admiration for the wonderful WASO musicians and Principal Conductor Asher Fisch, and I am very much looking forward to being part of the WASO family.” – Jen Winley

Every year WASO nurtures a new generation of young and emerging artists, assisting them in finding their pathway into the music profession.

Jen was a participant in WASO’s 2020 and 2021 Emerging Conductors program, which gives young and emerging artists access to WASO rehearsals and concerts, and masterclasses with the orchestra and WASO’s Assistant Conductor.


Jen completed a Bachelor of Music Performance in Percussion at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, graduating top of her class in 1999, and has worked as a percussionist with the Melbourne, Adelaide, Tasmanian and West Australian symphony orchestras, as well as Orchestra Victoria and Academy of Melbourne.

Jen currently works as a conductor for the Western Australian Youth Orchestras Association (WAYO).

In 2020, Jen was a participant in the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra’s Australian Conducting Academy Summer School, undertaking workshops with the TSO Principal Guest Conductor Johannes Fritzsch.

2020 also marked Jen’s mainstage conducting debut with WASO in the Lotterywest Christmas Spectacular.

Jen conducts WASO’s Lotterywest Christmas Spectacular in 2020. Credit Rebecca Mansell.

In 2021, Jen conducted the UWA Symphony Orchestra in a unique side-by-side creative development with WASO, led by Paul Rissmann, and next month will make her film-score conducting debut as she leads WASO in one of its biggest performances of the year - Home Alone in Concert at RAC Arena.

The Assistant Conductor position is part of WASO’s Young & Emerging Artist Program and provides a rare opportunity for young conductors to gain coveted experience with WASO and Principal Conductor, Asher Fisch.

Jen succeeds Thaddeus Huang, Music Director of the Frankston Symphony Orchestra and Australian New Goldberg Orchestra, who has held the position in 2020 and 2021.

After successfully completing his term, Thaddeus joins alumni Christopher Dragon (2013-2015), Elena Schwarz (2017) and Carlo Antonioli (2018-2019).

Since working with WASO, Elena has secured the role of Associate Conductor with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and was the Dudamel Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra for the 2018/2019 season.

Christopher is now the Music Director of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra and Resident Conductor of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra in the United States.

“It’s had the biggest impact on my music career. It really made me change the way that I think about conducting and rehearsing. It was a great time for me to be at WASO when Asher joined because I saw the impact that a music director can actually make in an orchestra.” – Christopher Dragon.


The WASO Assistant Conductor position and Emerging Conductors program are supported by the Simon Lee Foundation, which aspires to build an alumni body of young artists that can connect, create and support each other.