Described by both Zubin Mehta and Riccardo Muti as a “wonderful conductor and musician”, Australian/Russian conductor, Alexander Briger is one of Australia’s preeminent musicians. Alexander worked closely with both Sir Charles Mackerras, where he developed a strong knowledge of the music of Leoš Janáček, and Pierre Boulez and the Ensemble InterContemporain. He has premiered works by composers such as Arvo Pärt, Bruno Mantovani, Mark Anthony Turnage, Elena Kats Chernin and Simon Holt and is considered a specialist in the works of Janáček, Mozart, Brahms and Beethoven. In 2016 he was awarded the Order of Australia for “Distinguished services to music as a leading conductor”.
Alexander’s recent engagements have included performances of Stravinsky’s Petrouschka and Shostakovich’s 5th Symphony with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican, London, Brahms’s 1st Symphony and Schubert’s 9th Symphony with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in Tel Aviv and Haifa, Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte at the Toulon Opera, France, Jay Reise’s Rasputin for the Helikon Opera, Moscow, concerts with the Orchestra of the Teatro San Carlo, Naples and John Adams’ I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky with the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma and at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, following a hugely successful debut at the same theatre conducting the Paris premiere of Adams’ Nixon in China.
He has also worked with such orchestras as the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Ensemble InterContemporain, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Paris Chamber Orchestra, Konzerthaus Orchester, Berlin, Frankfurt Radio Orchestra, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Gothenburg Symphony, Swedish Radio Orchestra, Danish Symphony Orchestra, Salzburg Mozarteum, Belgium National Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Japanese Virtuoso Symphony and with the London Sinfonietta (collaborating with Peter Sellars and pianist Hélène Grimaud for the premiere of Arvo Pärt’s Lament Tate) and all the major Australian symphony orchestras, among many others.
He has performed regularly with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London (collaborating with such soloists as Alfred Brendel, Maria Joao Pires and Murray Perahia) and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, including their tour to China in 2004 and made his BBC Proms and Berlin Festival debuts with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (following a recommendation from Sir Simon Rattle) and Edinburgh Festival debut with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He has also worked with such soloists as Paul Lewis, Kirill Gerstein, Akiko Suwanai and Julia Fisher.
Alexander is also considered an opera specialist and has conducted at such houses as the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, English National Opera, Glyndebourne Festival, Aix-en-Provence Festival, Théâtre du Châtelet, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Komischeoper, Berlin, Canadian Opera Company, Royal Danish Opera, Royal Swedish Opera and Opera Australia, to name a few.
In 2010, he founded the Australian World Orchestra, of which he is the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor, and in 2011 conducted their award-winning inaugural season at the Sydney Opera House with Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, which was subsequently released on Deutsche Grammophon, as well as leading the Orchestra on their Asia tours to Singapore in 2016 and India in 2018. Alexander conducted the Australian World Orchestra’s 2019 performances that were met with critical acclaim by the international music community and reviewers alike, claiming “Briger’s powers on the podium are every bit as world class as the Australian World Orchestra’s previous conductors, Sir Simon Rattle, Zubin Mehta and Riccardo Muti.”
Future engagements include Jenůfa with the Montreal Opera, The Turn of the Screw at the Paris Philharmonie, concerts with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, Moscow, and returns to the Naples San Carlo Opera and Opera Australia.