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Biography

Alexander Prior
Conductor / Composer

Born in London to a Russian mother and British father, Alexander Prior's passion for music stood out from a very young age. He began composing at the age of eight and he has now written more than 40 works, including symphonies, concertos, two ballets, two operas and a Requiem for the children of Beslan. He has already seen his music performed by respected orchestra and ensembles, and been the recipient of several prestigious composition awards - at 12 he was the youngest commended in the BBC Young Composer Competition. As he began piano lessons, his musical abilities flourished and later he enrolled in the junior department of the Royal College of Music. At 13, Alexander became a student at the St Petersburg Conservatory where he is currently studying composition with Professor Alexander Tchaikovsky and conducting with Professor Alexeev.

Since his solo debut, age 10, at St Paul's Covent Garden, Alexander has been recognized internationally as one of the most promising composers and performers of his generation. He has collaborated with many leading orchestras and ensembles including The BBC Singers and The Enydmion Ensemble. Highlights include a performance of his Sonata for Cello and Piano at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory and the selection of a symphonic poem, Stalin's March as part of the Arts Council funded New Music Day with the City of London Sinfonia. Respected British composer, Roxanna Panufnik commented that Alexander's music has 'a seething intensity about it, both rhythmically and harmonically'.

Alexander's Piano Concerto No.1 was premiered at the prestigious V International Piano Festival in St Petersburg in September 2006. This work represented the 21st Century alongside Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No 1 from 19th and Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No.1 from 20th Centuries. A finalist in this year's International Prokofiev Composers Competition, his Concerto for piano and orchestra No 2 Northern Dances will be performed by the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra at the final round in April 2008. In 2006, Alexander's ballet Mowgli (based on Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book) was commissioned by renowned choreographers Natalia Kasatkina and Vladimir Vassilev of The Moscow State Classical Ballet. The first performance, conducted by Alexander himself, was in June 2007 at the New Opera Theatre in Moscow and met with great success. The official premiere took place at the Kremlin theatre, Moscow in February 2008 - also conducted by Alexander, with a tour of the work in the pipeline.

Alexander made his UK conducting debut with The National Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican, and he immediately received a reinvitation. He has also conducted The State Symphony Orchestra of St. Petersburg in a performance of his own String Symphony No.1, in a concert in the St Petersburg Philharmonic Hall entirely devoted to his own compositions.

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