Twenty-five-year-old conductor Alexander Prior is in his first season as the Chief Conductor of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. He makes his San Francisco Symphony debut at these performances. In the 2017-18 season, he returned to the Swedish Chamber Orchestra and made debuts with the Detroit, Hamburg, and Toledo symphonies, I Musici de Montréal, and Frankfurt Opera, where he conducted Rigoletto. Highlights of the 2016-17 season included debuts with the Houston Symphony, Vancouver Opera conducting Hänsel und Gretel, and Edmonton Opera conducting Elektra, as well as a return to the Royal Danish Opera conducting Swan Lake.
Also a celebrated composer, Mr. Prior's ballet Mowgli, commissioned by the Moscow State Ballet has received regular performances since its premiere at the Kremlin Theatre in 2008. The Edmonton Symphony recently premiered his latest work, Putl'lt, a large symphonic work inspired by the eponymous Nuxálk word meaning "everything belongs to those generations that are not yet born." Other works include Distant Calls for voice and piano quintet; Elegy in Memory of Ligeti for cello and piano; Horizons: An American Crescendo for four soloists and orchestra, premiered by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Mr. Prior's direction at the Barbican Centre; Symphony No. 4, Gogol, commissioned by the cultural committee of Saint Petersburg for the Saint Petersburg State Academic Symphony Orchestra and Choir; Symphony No. 6, premiered by the Dallas Symphony; and the triple concerto That Which Must Remain Unspoken for violin, cello, and piano, commissioned by the City of Hong Kong Chamber Orchestra.
British-born and a graduate of the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, Mr. Prior was a conducting fellow at both the Tanglewood Music Center and the Aspen Music Festival. In the 2009-10 season, he served as assistant conductor at the Seattle Symphony. His mentors include Thomas Dausgaard, Robert Spano, Michael Tilson Thomas at the New World Symphony, Andrew Manze, and Nicholas McGegan and Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, both at the Los Angeles Philharmonic.