Alexander Prior Named Chief Conductor of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra

Alexander Prior
Edmonton Journal

24-year-old Alexander Prior, who sparked an uncommonly deep relationship with Edmonton’s symphony and its audiences during several acclaimed guest appearances since 2014, is the new Chief Conductor of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

The London-born conductor and composer’s exuberance, vision, and musical excellence have taken him to orchestras from Cologne to Boston to St. Petersburg. He assumes his new role in the 2017/2018 season, during which he will conduct several concerts on various ESO series.

Prior said his decision to choose Edmonton over other suitors was made easy by several factors: “The (ESO’s) players are among the best in North America. The Winspear Centre is among the best venues on the continent. I felt a special chemistry, with those players and in that room, and with Edmontonians.”

“I’m thrilled to join an organization that is so intentional about inviting all Edmontonians, from every background and circumstance, to experience music, to play it, to be transformed by it.”

Winspear Centre CEO Annemarie Petrov said Edmontonians are in for an extended treat when Prior leads the orchestra in 2017/2018 and beyond.

“He’s a remarkable musician, he’s gregarious and exceptionally well-spoken, and a lot of fun. And he already has this marvelous connection with the musicians,” Petrov said.

Alexander has amassed an impressive list of accomplishments, both as a conductor and composer. At the age of 13, his ballet Mowgli, commissioned by the Moscow State Ballet, received international critical acclaim. He was the youngest student since Sergei Prokofiev to graduate with distinction as a conductor from the Conservatoire in St. Petersburg at the age of 17. He has been awarded Conducting Fellowships at the Boston Symphony's Tanglewood Music Center and the Aspen Music Festival. His guest conducting credits include Opera Leipzig, Bavarian State Opera, Royal Danish Opera, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, German Chamber Orchestra Bremen, Copenhagen Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, WDR Funkhaus Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Victoria Symphony, New World Symphony, and many more.