Stuart David Challender (1947–91), conductor, was born and educated in Hobart, and decided to become a conductor on hearing Tibor Paul conducting Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony at his first concert. After studying in Melbourne, Hamburg and Vienna, he conducted in German and Swiss opera houses. He returned to Australia as resident conductor of Australian Opera, 1980–85.
Challender's foreign debuts included the Netherlands Opera, San Diego Opera, Chicago Symphony and the English National Opera. In Australia he worked with the Seymour Group, all major arts festivals, youth orchestras and dance companies. In 1986 he became principal guest conductor, then chief conductor and artistic director of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra – the position he held until his death in Sydney. The Stuart Challender Trust secures future conductors and guest artists for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
Further reading: W Bebbington (ed), The Oxford companion to Australian music, Melbourne, 1997.