Described by both Zubin Mehta and Riccardo Muti as a “wonderful conductor and musician”, Australian conductor, Alexander Briger is one of Australia’s pre-eminent 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, Brett Dean, Olga Neuwirth, Elena Kats-Chernin and Simon Holt and is considered a specialist in the works of Janáček and Britten, as well as Mozart, Brahms and Adams.
Alexander was honoured in the 2016 Australia Day Honours List as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished services to the arts as a leading conductor.
His engagements have included performances of Stravinsky’s Petrouschka and Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican, London, Brahms’s First Symphony and Schubert’s Ninth 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.
Alexander has also worked with such orchestras as the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Ensemble InterContemporain, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Paris Chamber Orchestra, Konzerthausorchester, 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, National Taiwanese Symphony Orchestra, all the major Australian symphony orchestras and with the London Sinfonietta (collaborating with Peter Sellars and pianist Hélène Grimaud for the premiere of Arvo Pärt’s Lament Tate) 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 International Festival debut with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He has also worked with such soloists as Paul Lewis, Kirill Gerstein, Akiko Suwanai, Isabella Faust, Julia Fischer, Henrich Schiff and Gautier Capuçon.
Considered an opera specialist, Alexander has conducted for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Glyndebourne Festival, English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, Komischeoper Berlin, Aix-en-Provence Festival, Théâtre du Châtelet Paris, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Teatro San Carlo, Naples, Canadian Opera Company, Helikon Opera, Moscow, Royal Danish Opera, Royal Swedish Opera and Opera Australia, amongst others.
Alexander has worked with such singers as Dame Felicity Lott, June Anderson, Elizabeth Connell, Sumi Jo, Bo Skovhus, Gerald Finley, Christine Rice, Nikolai Schukoff, Christopher Maltman and Franco Pomponi and directors such as Jonathan Miller, Peter Sellars, Baz Luhrmann, Neil Armfield, Christopher Alden, Adrian Noble, Dimitry Bertman and Chen Shi-Zheng.
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 Ninth 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, and for their capstone performance of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony in 2023.