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ESO Names Alexander Prior as New Conductor

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  • ESO Names Alexander Prior as New Conductor

    The Edmonton journal reports that Alexander Prior will be the next chief conductor of the ESO:

    "He once sang the British national anthem at an “ice hockey” game. He speaks half-a-dozen languages — including Russian, Danish and German — and wants to learn a First Nations tongue. He loves Nordic and Russian music, composer Richard Wagner, indie-rockers Arctic Monkeys and “belting ballads” like Beyonce’s Halo.

    Meet Alexander Prior, the next chief conductor of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. The 24-year-old British dynamo will replace outgoing conductor Bill Eddins starting in the 2017-2018 season."

    Alexander Prior is a Connor McDavid among classical music conductors, and landing him in Edmonton is a major coup. I had the good fortune of attending a concert two years ago that he conducted at the Winspear. He brought amazing energy to the performance and drew the very best out of the ESO.

  • #2
    I'm intrigued by his personality, and glad for the nordic/russian understanding that he brings (Eddins for all his brilliance brought enough of the US classical scene).

    Got to like this too:
    Q: What are your general impressions of Edmonton so far?

    A: Wonderful! The first time I came here, which was some years ago now, I really, really loved the city and I still do. There’s a truly welcoming and friendly spirit and I miss it. When I come back, it’s like: “YES! Here I am.” It’s nice.

    At the same time, there’s a real grungy, entrepreneur-y atmosphere and I don’t just mean business startups. People do look to new pathways, new directions, and I think that’s really cool. The Winspear does fit in really well with that.

    I love snow. I love cold weather. To a degree — up to minus 30. I love cross-country skiing and I am looking forward to that. I enjoy the ravines. ... Above all, it’s about the people — and the people of Edmonton have just been so warm. That’s irreplaceable. Unique and powerful.

    Q: Why did you want this gig?

    A: Who wouldn’t? One of the best halls in the world, one of the best orchestras in the world. I mean, truly, both in terms of quality of playing, but just as importantly, in terms of openness.

    Very glad we're able to attract such a dynamic person (again.)

    But the real test is hearing how his work with the orchestra actually sounds. They were always brilliant under Eddins, but some less talented guest conductors just couldn't keep them on the same page, let alone the same note.
    Let's make Edmonton better.