Alexander Prior


British-Russian conductor Alexander Prior recently completed a critically acclaimed tenure as Chief Conductor of the Edmonton Symphony, with whom Prior has worked continuously for the last nine seasons.  Appointed as Chief Conductor at just 22, Prior made Edmonton his artistic base, investing greatly in the artistic output and community outreach of the orchestra – championing new music, with a focus on  programming which reflects the diversity and cultural history of the region.  By his third season every masters’ series concert featured music by female composers.  The Edmonton Journal said: “He leaves behind a considerable legacy. First and foremost, he has brought the orchestra to a new level of playing, whether eliciting a true pianissimo from the strings, new shadings of expression and phrasing, or greater depth of emotional feeling.”

He has worked with orchestras and opera houses throughout the world including the San Francisco, Detroit, Seattle, Queensland, and Houston Symphony Orchestras. Further collaborations include performances with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid and the orchestra of Teatro Reál, the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Camerata Salzburg, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Norwegian Radio Orchestra and Aarhus Symphony Orchestra.

Operatic engagements include MIRANDOLINA at Bayerische Staatsoper, LA TRAVIATA with Leipzig Opera and the Gewandhausorchester, CARMEN at the Royal Danish Opera, RUSALKA at Tiroler Festspiele in Erl, HANSEL UND GRETEL at Vancouver Opera and ELEKTRA at Edmonton Opera. At Frankfurt Opera he has conducted RIGOLETTO, JULIETTA and Holst The Planets.  A planned production of  DER FLIEGENDE HOLLANDER in 2021 was sadly cancelled due to the COVID19 pandemic. Following his debut at Staatstheater Braunschweig he was invited back to conduct a new production of RIGOLETTO , after which the orchestra awarded him the prestigious ‘Louis-Spohr-Medal’.  At Theater Erfurt Prior has conducted critically acclaimed production of ELEKTRA, DER FLIEGENDE HOLLANDER and Felix Gartner’s ORESTES.

As well as his work as an international conductor, Prior has gained international recognition for his compositions: His work Horizons: An American Crescendofor four soloists and orchestra was premiered by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Barbican Centre. His balletMowgli, commissioned by the Russian State Ballet, was performed for the first time in 2008 at the Kremlin Theatre in Moscow and it has been continuously running since then.  His music has also been performed by the Edmonton Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong and the Royal Northern Sinfonia.

At 13 Prior had enrolled at the renowned St. Petersburg Conservatory to study conducting with Alexander Alexeev and composition with Boris Tishchenko.  He graduated with top honours at just 17, a feat only previously achieved once – by Sergei Prokofiev.  Alex was immediately appointed as an assistant conductor with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, and since then the Pacific North West has remained his home. As a conductor Prior has a broad repertoire, but with a special focus on and passion for the music of Tchaikovsky, Rimsky Korsakov, Mussorgsky, Prokofiev, Sibelius, Barber, Copland, Bruckner, Wagner, Adams, Janacek, Dvorak, Nielsen, Langgaard, Vaughan Williams and Richard Strauss, in addition to championing a vast array of younger living composers.  Alex passionately believes in the power of music to bring people together, to build compassion and ultimately a better understanding for humanity.

Alexander Prior

General management

Robert Gilder
Managing Director