Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Tatarstan National Symphony Orchestra
The vibrant Russian conductor Alexander Sladkovsky is acclaimed as an aristocrat under the new generation of Russian conductors. “His vivacious and genuine, at the same time thoughtful and deep music making, alongside the infectious energy, captures every audience.” (Belcanto.ru) Since 2010 he is the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Tatarstan National Symphony Orchestra in the city of Kazan (Tatarstan, Russia), which transformed into one of the finest orchestras in Russia. “It became an absolute necessity to talk about the “Kazan Miracle” created by maestro Sladkovsky and the Tatarstan National Symphony Orchestra. It is a unique and captivatingly successful story of recreating an orchestra, delicately yet powerfully bringing it up to the peaks of great performing art.” (Musical Life Magazine).
Alexander Sladkovsky is the founder and Artistic Director of many different festivals in Kazan, such as the Rachmaninoff festival “White Lilac”, open air opera festival “Kazan Autumn”, “Denis Matsuev Meets Friends”, and Gubaidulina Festival “Concordia”.
In May 2001, Alexander Sladkovsky conducted a concert at the Hermitage Theatre in honour of Her Royal Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. He also led concerts in honour of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, the President of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev, and the Presidents of the United States Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, wherein a concert was held during the festivities for St. Petersburg’s 300th Anniversary with President George W. Bush in attendance.
His recent highlights in the 2015-16 season were collaborations with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Sinfonia Varsovia, State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia “Svetlanov Orchestra”, and Russian National Orchestra, among others.
In October 2013 Sladkovsky was invited by Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia to conduct works by Rachmaninoff during the anniversary concerts dedicated to the composer. In the same season he was re-invited to conduct several concerts with a Tchaikovsky programme. Previous collaborations have included Bolshoi Theatre, State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia “Svetlanov Orchestra”, Russian National Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Russian Radio, National Philharmonic of Russia, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, Niedersächsisches Staatsorchester Hannover, Orchestra of Theatro Municipal De São Paulo, orchestras of the Moscow, Novosibirsk and Belgrade Philharmonic, Orchestra of the Hungarian State Opera, Sinfonia Varsovia, Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, and Concerto Budapest Orchestra.
Orchestras under Alexander Sladkovsky took part in various important national and international projects and festivals, such as the International Yuri Temirkanov “Arts Square” Festival, “Rodion Shchedrin. A Self-Portrait” Festival (held in 2002 for the 70th anniversary of the composer), the Young Euro Classic Festival in Berlin, the Days of St. Petersburg Culture in Almaty with the stars of the Mariinsky Theatre, the Crescendo Festival in St. Petersburg, the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, the Kunstfest-Weimar, the Budapest Spring Festival, and the XI Wörthersee Classics Festival in Klagenfurt.
Alexander Sladkovsky collaborated with internationally renowned artists such as Denis Matsuev, Yuri Bashmet, Mikhail Pletnev, Boris Berezovsky, Barry Douglas, Nikolay Lugansky, Vadim Repin, Leonidas Kavakos, Julian Rachlin, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, David Geringas, Mario Brunello, Antonio Meneses, Montserrat Caballé, Hibla Gerzmava, Simone Kermes, Albina Shagimuratova, Sumi Jo, Placido Domingo, Roberto Alagna, Dmitry Hvorostovsky, Sergei Nakaryakov, and Michael Volle, among others.
His concert programmes cover an extensive repertoire of such contemporary composers as R. Shchedrin, G. Kancheli, and S. Gubaidulina. On various occasions, Sladkovsky performed music by Alexander Tchaikovsky. In March 2003 he conducted the world premiere of Alexander Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 3 at the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. Moreover, he enthusiastically focuses on commissioning and premiering pieces by several young Russian composers.
In 1999 Sladkovsky won the top prize at the III. International Prokofiev Competition. In 2003, he was a nominee for Russia’s Golden Soffit Award as Best Conductor of the Year, and in 2005, he became Honored Artist of Russia by the President’s decree. As of 2013, he is an ambassador for the Kazan University. In 2011, Alexander Sladkovsky was named Conductor of the Year in Russia by Musical Review Magazine and won the Philanthropist of the Year contest. Sladkovsky also received the Oleg Yankovsky “Creative Discovery 2011-12” Award. He was titled Doctor Honoris Causa by the UNESCO Chair of the University of Management TISBI (Kazan, Tatarstan) and selected as one of the «Top-35. The most famous people of Kazan».
Alexander Sladkovsky graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in 1988 and later from the St. Petersburg Conservatory in 2001. He made his conducting debut with Mozart’s Così fan tutte in 1997, a production of the Opera and Ballet Theatre of the St. Petersburg Conservatory. In the same year he was invited to conduct the St. Petersburg State Capella Symphony Orchestra. An extensive and fruitful collaboration began, first as its Principal, and later as its Chief Conductor (1997-2006). Between 2001 and 2003, he also served as Chief Conductor of the State Ballet and Opera Theatre of the St. Petersburg Conservatory, and between 2001 and 2005 of the Russian National Students’ Symphony Orchestra (a joint project of the Ministry of Culture of Russia and the St. Petersburg Conservatory), which was composed of conservatory students from St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Kazan and Saratov. In 2005 Sladkovsky was Assistant Conductor to maestro Mariss Jansons for the production of G. Bizet’s Carmen, and in 2006 to maestro Mstislav Rostropovich for The Unknown Mussorgsky programme. From 2006 to 2010 he worked extensively with the New Russia State Symphony Orchestra under the tutelage of maestro Yuri Bashmet.
In 2012 SONY MUSIC and RCA Red Seal released a three CD album entitled “The Anthology of Music” where the recordings by Alexander Sladkovsky and his recent orchestra, the Tatarstan National Symphony Orchestra, showcased the work of composers from the Republic of Tatarstan. A subsequent CD “Enlightment” was recorded under the same music labels and was highly acclaimed by the press. It includes Tchaikovsky’s Manfred and Rachmaninoff’s The Isle of the Dead.
The concert “Soloist Denis Matsuev” was recorded by the Mezzo TV Channel in 2014 and broadcasted worldwide. The Tatarstan National Symphony Orchestra was the first regional Orchestra filmed by this international music channel.
Alexander Sladkovsky is represented worldwide by Natalja Slobodyreva at IMG Artists.
CD Review Shostakovich: Complete Concertos / Tatarstan National Symphony Orchestra, released May 2017
“Also, in this movement you hear for the first time a characteristic of the accompaniment that Sladkovsky brings to all the concerti – he favours a truly hushed, almost etiolated quality to the string sound that makes the music sound fragile and almost vulnerable. When juxtaposed against the stamping, accent-heavy passages the same players produce elsewhere in the works, it makes for a very wide expressive range.”
“The Overture from the incidental music «Manfred» in E-Flat minor op. 115, a work based on the poem of Lord Byron, was chosen as the thematic opening to the Schumannfest. With contrasting themes pictured throughout this composition by Schumann, it is about the tragic suffering visions of heroes. Leading the Russian National Orchestra, Alexander Sladkovsky developed a vibrant imagery through his thrilling conducting. He alternates between a vigorous escalation of tempi and a noble reserve.”
“From Russia with Love – The Russian National Orchestra and its vibrant conductor Alexander Sladkovsky delivered melodious greetings from Moscow. The Orchestra captivated audiences through an intense sound of strings, an incredibly wide dynamic range, balance, rich woods, and a disciplined temperament. The “Manfred Overture” deeply permeated into Schumann’s complex thinking and emotions. ”