“A former student of Ilya Musin in St. Petersburg, Walker has a strong affinity for the Russian style, which came across in the intensity and warmth of this fully-engaging performance.”
“Music and Vision”
“…under Alexander Walker’s dynamic leadership both chorus and orchestra gave a tremendous performance of this neglected opera.”
“Music and Vision”
“The New Russian State Symphony Orchestra sounds remarkably confident in Brian’s idiosyncratic sound world. The brass play very well, and the ensemble projects what have to be some very ungrateful string parts with astonishing conviction. Much of the credit must belong to conductor Alexander Walker, who keeps the music moving smartly along, and relishes the opportunities it offers for lyrical expression as well as instrumental color. Certainly this is one of the best issues in Naxos’ ongoing Brian cycle, especially as the sonics are also very tactile and vivid. Fans of the composer will rejoice.”
David Hurwitz, “Classics Today”
Alexander Walker’s career has taken him all over the world. He is a regular guest conductor with the legendary Russian State Symphony Orchestra whom he has conducted in concerts at Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall, and International Performing Arts Centre. Appearances during the last couple of seasons have included concerts with Prague Philharmonia in the Dvořák Hall of the Rudolfinum the Belgrade Philharmonic, Belgrade Strings (broadcasting on National Television with them), the Georges Enescu Philharmonic, Bucharest, North Hungarian Symphony Orchestra,Wrocław State Symphony Orchestra and Russian Philharmonic.
In the UK, he has conducted the City of London Sinfonia and the BBC Philharmonic (with a concert broadcast on Radio 3) and last year made his debut with the English Chamber Orchestra at London’s Cadogan Hall. He has recently been developing a relationship with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with whom he has recorded and given concerts, conducting the prestigious Elgar Birthday concert in Malvern in 2011. Other engagements have included Gala Concerts at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester with the Manchester Concert Orchestra and at the Barbican with the London Concert Orchestra for Raymond Gubbay Ltd.
Highlights of the last couple of seasons have included a performance of Britten’s War Requiem to mark the 70 years since the invasion of Poland in Lublin, Poland and the first ever production in Turkey of an Opera by Benjamin Britten in Turkey, conducting The Turn of the Screw for the Istanbul State Opera. In 2011, he conducted the first production of Julian Grant’s new opera Prophet and Loss for Oundle International Festival. Recent CDs of music for violin and orchestra by Ignatz Waghalter with the RPO and the virtuoso violinist Irmina Trynkos and symphonies nos. 22-24 by Havergal Brian with the Symphony Orchestra New Russia (Music Director: Yuri Bashmet) for Naxos have met with both popular and critical acclaim.
After completing a music degree at Bristol University and post-graduate studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, Alexander Walker studied with Ilya Musin at St. Petersburg Conservatoire and has since performed throughout the former Soviet Union where many of his concerts have been broadcast on National television and radio. He was Principal Guest Conductor of the Voronezh State Symphony Orchestra from 1999 – 2004. He is a regular guest conductor with the Mikkeli and Lappeenranta City Orchestras in Finland, and of the Esbjerg Ensemble and the Vestyjsk Sinfonieorkester in Denmark and of many orchestras throughout Poland, the Balkans, Turkey and Romania.
In the UK, his engagements have included concerts with the New Queens Hall Orchestra and the Russian Orchestra of London. He works regularly at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and has toured with the Royal Ballet to the Bolshoi and Mariinsky Theatres in Russia, throughout the USA including to the Metropolitan Opera and Kennedy Center, as well as to Singapore, Korea, Japan and Turkey. Alexander has conducted performances of The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and other work for the Royal Ballet has included Giselle, Manon, Romeo and Juliet and Swan Lake. He has also worked for the Finnish National Opera, conducting Kenneth Greve’s new production of Swan Lake, The Nutcracker for the Norwegian National Opera, Cinderella for Scottish Ballet, Romeo and Juliet for Northern Ballet Theatre and a gala performance with Anastasia Volochkova at Sadler’s Wells.
His operatic repertoire includes the major operas of Verdi, Puccini and Mozart and Tchaikovsky as well as Tobias and the Angel, Carmen, Rusalka, Tristan und Isolde, Verbum Nobile (Moniuszko), A Life for the Tsar, Ariadne auf Naxos, and Gli Equivoci nel sembiante, Le Postillon de Lonjumeau (Adam) and Paradise Moscow. Companies he has worked for have included Opera North, Grange Park Opera, English Touring Opera, Oundle International Festival, Bampton Classical Opera, Chelsea Opera Group, European Chamber Opera, Opera de Baugé, London City Opera and the Ukrainian National Opera in Odessa. For the Cheboksary International Opera Festival, he conducted Tosca with a cast including Nikolai Putilin and Virginia Kerr.
Proactive in presenting audiences with great music unfamiliar to them, he has organised festivals featuring the music of Nielson in Russia, Karłowicz in Finland and is particularly highly regarded for his interpretations of Middle and East European classical and 19th and 20th century repertoire at home. An enthusiast for contemporary music, he has given first performances of music by Andrei Petrov, Aki -Yli Salomaki, Vladislav Uspenski, and many others. He is Music Director of the Norfolk Symphony Orchestra and the Northampton Symphony Orchestra. Highlights for the coming season include return visits to the Symphony Orchestra New Russia, snd the Georges Enescu Philharmonic, Bucharest as well as further recordings of music by Waghalter and Brian for Naxos.