Artistic director of The Royal Danish Opera Sven Müller has announced that conductor Alexander Vedernikov will become the next Chief Conductor of The Royal Danish Opera, beginning in 2017-18. Mr Müller said of the appointment:
“We have had the pleasure to work with Alexander Vedernikov for two successful opera productions, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and Lohengrin. I was amazed by Alexander’s secure musicality and his craftsmanship as a conductor. In addition, his inspiring, untiring and always solution-finding means of working is exactly what it takes to make big opera productions come together. The evenings conducted by him were special and I believe Alexander will stand for high musical quality at the Royal Danish Opera.”
Mr Vedernikov said:
“I am excited and happy to accept the offer to be Chief Conductor at the Royal Danish Opera. We had a very good time making music together during the last two seasons and I am looking forward to our future collaboration.
“I do believe that the united efforts of the creative forces of the Opera, the high artistic level of its orchestra and choir together will definitely allow us to conquer new artistic peaks.”
Alexander Vedernikov will join the Royal Danish Opera as Chief Conductor Designate in the season 17/18 where he will conduct La Fanciulla Del West in addition to a symphonic concert. For the seasons 18/19 and 19/20, Mr Verdernikov will assume the role of Chief Conductor where he will conduct two productions of opera in addition to two concerts per season.
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. In the past months he has received high praise for his rendition of Prokofiev’s Third Symphony at the BBC Proms with BBC Symphony, and for an extended period of work with the NHK Orchestra in Japan where he conducted three programmes. He works regularly with a list of orchestras that includes the Orchestre de Paris, Orchestra Verdi Milan, Tokyo Symphony, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony, Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana (with Martha Argerich at the Martha Argerich Project in Lugano), Netherlands Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Gothenburg Symphony, Danish National Symphony, Bergen Philharmonic, and 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, among many others.
Currently Chief Conductor of the Odense Symphony Orchestra in Denmark, Alexander Vedernikov has brought this orchestra to a new level of international recognition and is currently working on a three-year project to perform Wagner’s Ring Cycle in concert.
In the field of opera, Alexander Vedernikov has frequently conducted 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. He has conducted productions at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Bastille Opera in Paris, Finnish National Opera, Zurich Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Royal Stockholm Opera, and Danish National Opera. Upcoming projects include engagements with Deutsche Oper Berlin and at the Savonlinna Festival in Finland.
Alexander Vedernikov was Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Bolshoi Theatre from 2001 until 2009 and has been credited with rebuilding the 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 The Fiery Angel (2004), Cinderella (2006), and 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); Glinka’s Ruslan and Ludmilla (2003); Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina (2002); and Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur (2002).
Vedernikov was also responsible for developing the Bolshoi’s program of symphonic concerts and has featured very broad repertoire, including Prokofiev’s Cinderella, Berlioz’s The Damnation of 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 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 1988–1990, he worked at Moscow’s Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theatres. From 1988–1995, 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 which 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 debuts at New York’s Carnegie Hall and Washington’s Kennedy Center.
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. Born in Moscow in 1964, he 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 Mussorgsky, 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.