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Perhaps most renowned for his tenure as the Music Director of the Bolshoi from 2001 to 2009, Alexander Vedernikov’s international reputation has gone from strength to strength over the past decade and he is in high demand as a guest conductor.  He works regularly with a list of orchestras that includes the BBC Symphony, Orchestra Verdi of Milan, NHK Symphony, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony, Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana (with Martha Argerich at the Martha Argerich Project in Lugano), Netherlands Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Gothenburg Symphony, Danish National Symphony, Bergen Philharmonic and the Czech Philharmonic.  He has also worked with the Sydney Symphony, Bayerischer Rundfunk Symphony, China Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Dresden, Montreal Symphony, Tokyo Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC and many others, while recent debuts with the Orchestre de Paris and Bournemouth Symphony both resulted in an immediate re-invitation.  In September 2009 Alexander took up the role of Chief Conductor of the Odense Symphony Orchestra in Denmark. In the field of opera, Alexander Vedernikov is now a frequent conductor at Berlin’s Komische Oper, and has worked throughout Italy at La Scala in Milan, La Fenice in Venice, Teatro Comunale

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Perhaps most renowned for his tenure as the Music Director of the Bolshoi from 2001 to 2009, Alexander Vedernikov’s international reputation has gone from strength to strength over the past decade and he is in high demand as a guest conductor.  He works regularly with a list of orchestras that includes the BBC Symphony, Orchestra Verdi of Milan, NHK Symphony, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony, Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana (with Martha Argerich at the Martha Argerich Project in Lugano), Netherlands Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Gothenburg Symphony, Danish National Symphony, Bergen Philharmonic and the Czech Philharmonic.  He has also worked with the Sydney Symphony, Bayerischer Rundfunk Symphony, China Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Dresden, Montreal Symphony, Tokyo Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC and many others, while recent debuts with the Orchestre de Paris and Bournemouth Symphony both resulted in an immediate re-invitation.  In September 2009 Alexander took up the role of Chief Conductor of the Odense Symphony Orchestra in Denmark.

In the field of opera, Alexander Vedernikov is now a frequent conductor at Berlin’s Komische Oper, and has worked throughout Italy at La Scala in Milan, La Fenice in Venice, Teatro Comunale in Bologna, Teatro Regio in Turin and Opera di Roma.  In April 2005, he made his debut at the Bastille Opera in Paris conducting a new production of Boris Godunov directed by Francesca Zambello.  In 2010 he made a highly successful debut at the Finnish National Opera with Eugene Onegin.  In 2012/13 he made his debut at the Zurich Opera with Cavalleria Rusticana / Pagliacci and last season at The Metropolitan Opera in New York conducting Eugene Onegin. 

Alexander Vedernikov was Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Bolshoi Theatre from 2001 until 2009 and has been credited with rebuilding the Bolshoi Theatre’s historical reputation for artistic excellence.  He led many productions at the Bolshoi, including a new production of Boris Godunov in the original Mussorgsky orchestrations (2007), Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin (2006), Puccini’s Turandot (2002 and 2006), Prokofiev's Cinderella (2006), Prokofiev’s War and Peace (2005/06), Leonid Desyatnikov’s The Children of Rosenthal (world premiere, commissioned by the Bolshoi Theatre), Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman (2004), Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel (2004), Glinka’s Ruslan and Ludmilla (2003), Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina (2002) and Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur (2002).

He was also responsible for developing the Bolshoi’s programme of symphonic concerts, and has featured very broad repertoire, including Prokofiev's Cinderella, Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust, Verdi’s Requiem, scenes from the operas of Wagner, and music by Richard Strauss, Alban Berg, Dmitry Shostakovich and Georgy Sviridov.  Under his direction, the orchestra of the Bolshoi toured extensively, including to Athens, Hamburg and Paris in February 2008 and a season of opera and ballet at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in July 2006 (including The Fiery Angel and Boris Godunov) where the orchestra in particular was singled out for its exceptional playing.  Opera and symphonic performances at La Scala were equally successful.

Alexander completed his musical studies at the Moscow Conservatory in 1990 and from 1988-90, he worked at Moscow’s Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theatre.  From 1988-95, he was assistant to the chief conductor and second conductor of the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra (formerly Gosteleradio’s Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra), whom he accompanied on many tours in Russia, Austria, Germany, Greece, Turkey and Great Britain.  In 1995, he founded the Russian Philharmonia Symphony Orchestra and was Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of this orchestra until 2004.  He has conducted Russia’s State Symphony Orchestra and the Academic Symphony Orchestra of the St Petersburg Philharmonic.  Since 2003, he has been a member of the conductors’ collegium of the Russian National Orchestra, with whom he has toured in France, Germany and the United States.  In January 2004, as part of the Russian National Orchestra’s tour of nine cities, Alexander Vedernikov made his debut at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Centre, Washington.

Russia’s great institutions of music and theatre and their distinctive traditions have played a decisive role in shaping Alexander Vedernikov’s artistry in many ways. The conductor, born in Moscow on 11 January 1964, was raised in a musical family. His father, also named Alexander, was famed throughout the Soviet Union and beyond for his interpretations of such roles as Boris Godunov and Kutuzov in Prokofiev’s War and Peace; his mother, Natalia Gureyeva was a professor of organ at the Moscow Conservatory.  His deep commitment to Russian repertoire reaches far beyond the central range of romantic and 20th-century masterworks by Musorgsky, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev and Shostakovich. He is a tireless champion of the work of Georgy Sviridov, Mieczysław Weinberg and Boris Tchaikovsky and has also cast fresh interpretive light on substantial compositions by Taneyev and Glinka.

Season 2014/15

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Photos

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Reviews

"Alexander Vedernikov conducted brilliantly, and the lurid colours and goose-pimple glissandi of the orchestra were exceptionally vivid."

Anna Picard, The Independent

"The new cast of Eugene Onegin, the season opener at the Met, has weighed in. Turns out -- hooray! -- they're a troupe of heavyweights, especially as conducted by debuting Alexander Vedernikov, who appears to have Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky deeply embedded in his DNA."

David Finkle, The Huffington Post

"The Liszt made for a grand opening to the concert. Vedernikov’s fluid, expressive style of direction elicited a powerful and intense performance by the orchestra. The climax came at full power from the orchestra to produce a majestic lead-in to the Sibelius. "

Andre S. Hughes, South Bend Tribune Review

"Vedernikov relishes detail and adds an edge to the music he conducts (aided by a lucid and expressive technique), which came into its own in Tchaikovsky 4, the opening brassy ‘fate’ motif grandly stated, Vedernikov keeping the opening movement on the move without forcing the pace, tempo- and dynamic-dovetailing linking the chains persuasively "

ClassicalSource.com

"In this utterly compelling (63-minute) performance, Vedernikov brought unequivocal shape and direction to a Symphony that can seem overblown and empty; not a bit of that here as he lived the music, sometimes stood back from it, alternating a mix of ‘proper’ conducting with something off the cuff, and in doing so aligning himself to the charismatic and maverick Rozhdestvensky. Certainly Vedernikov has a formed a close rapport with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, magnificently responsive here, with future appearances from this estimable conductor keenly anticipated. "

Colin Anderson, ClassicalSource.com

"... Vedernikov inspired the musicians to discover their inner savage, propelling the most explosive sections with an elemental thrust. At the same time, in all that heat Vedernikov still balanced and shaped textures and phrases with a manicurist’s precision. The woodwinds’ introduction, wondrously virile, told us that. Through all the rhythmic pandemonium the ensemble sense was terrifyingly exact, making the couple of brass fluffs insignificant, flies on a lion’s back."

Geoff Brown, TheTimes.co.uk

"The conductor Alexander Vedernikov may have adopted a broad-brush approach to the latter work, but as a former music director of the Bolshoi, he was certainly at home in this music. And the main work itself? Vedernikov’s Rite had powerful individuality. Though not short of virtuosity, which the BBCSO delivered with trademark ease, it stood out for its melancholic tone, with even the big orchestral howls carrying unusual anguish. A characterful conductor, Vedernikov supplied his own wild-man choreography on the podium, very different from Nijinsky’s contribution, which Stravinsky later recalled as “the knock-kneed and long-braided Lolitas jumping up and down”."

John Allison, Telegraph

"... But the lion’s share of the praise goes to the orchestra and conductor Alexander Vedernikov. Exhilarating from beginning to end, his was an interpretation full of controlled ecstasy and exquisitely blended colours."

Hannah Nepil, Financial Times

"This last in the series featured the First Symphony, and a rousing performance it was, capturing the young Sibelius’s rumbustiousness as he set off on his epic symphonic odyssey. The Russian conductor Alexander Vedernikov, who had opened the evening with a swaggering account of Shostakovich’s suite from The Bolt, threw himself into the symphony with an enthusiasm that swept up orchestra and audience."

Andrew Clark, Financial Times

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Discography

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Repertoire