Opera Scotland

Alexander Lazarev Suggest updates

Alexander Nikolayevich Lazarev.

Born Moscow, 5 July 1945.

Russian conductor.

Alexander Lazarev studied at the St Petersburg Conservatory and later with Leo Ginsbourg at the Moscow Conservatory.  He won the Karajan Conducting Competition in Berlin (1972).

From 1987 to 1995 he was Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Bolshoi Theatre, in Moscow - the first person to hold both positions simultaneously in over thirty years.  His leadership saw the Bolshoi Opera undertaking an unprecedented programme of foreign tours including Tokyo, La Scala Milan and the Metropolitan Opera House, New York.

He brought the company to Scotland in 1990, when Glasgow was nominated as European Capital of Culture.  The company stayed on in Scotland to perform at the Edinburgh International Festival. A further Festival visit came the following year.

He was Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra from 1992-1995. He was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the RSNO in 1994,  taking up the appointment of the RSNO's Principal Conductor in 1997.  He stayed in that position until 2005, and is now the RSNO's Conductor Emeritus.

In Russia he appeared regularly with the St Petersburg Philharmonic and the State Symphony Orchestra of the Russian Federation.  Abroad, he worked in Berlin (Philharmonic); Munich (Philharmonic & Bavarian Radio), Amsterdam (Netherlands Radio); Rotterdam (Philharmonic); Paris (Orchestre Nationale); Tokyo (NHK Symphony); Cleveland (Orchestra); Montreal (Symphony); Geneva (Suisse Romande); London (Philharmonia,  BBC Symphony).  He also worked with several European opera companies.

His repertoire ranges from the eighteenth century to avant garde.   In 1978 he founded the Ensemble of Soloists of the Bolshoi Theatre to perform contemporary music by both Soviet and foreign composers.  This group toured extensively in Europe, including appearances in London at the Almeida Festival 1989.

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