The 2011 Northwest Mahler Festival Principal Conductor

The Northwest Mahler Festival is pleased to make the following announcements about our upcoming 2011 Festival season:

First, our principal conductor for 2011 Festival Finale Concert is  -  Maestro Alexander Prior.

Alexander Prior is the 18 year old conducting phenomenon, who directed the first reading session of 2010. His session of Prokofiev's Scythian Suite was both popular and acclaimed by those who participated. Now he will return as our 2011 Principal Conductor. If you're not familiar with Maestro Prior, here is a little bit about him.

Maestro Prior is a graduate of the St. Petersburg Conservatory, where he studied symphonic and opera conducting with Alexander Alexeev, a pupil of Hans Swarowsky, and composition with Anatoly Korolev. In the 2009 - 2010 season he served as the Assistant To Guest Conductors at the Seattle Symphony Orchestra (SSO).  Based upon the success of a SSO rehearsal of Mahler's Symphony No. 4, Maestro Prior was given a series of five concerts to conduct for them. Maestro Prior was Runner Up in the 2009 Leeds Conductor's Competition. In addition, he has worked with many conductors including Robert Spano, Michael Tilson Thomas, Thomas Dausgaard, Itzhak Perlman, Vassilliy Sinaisky, and the new incoming SSO Music Director/Conductor Ludovic Morlot. Maestro Prior was invited to be a Conducting Fellow at the 2010 Tanglewood Music Center as a James Levine Scholar and received many rave reviews for his work there. He has conducted numerous orchestras including the Northern Sinfonia, the State Symphony Orchestra of St. Petersburg, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and the New World Symphony.

As a composer, Maestro Prior has worked in many genres including opera, ballet, symphonies, and concertos. He was runner up in the 2008 International Prokofiev Composers Competition  with his work Concerto No. 2 'Northern Dances' for piano and orchestra. In 2006, his ballet Mowgli (based on Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book) was commissioned by choreographers Natalia Kasatkina and Vladimir Vassilev of The Moscow State Classical Ballet. A film of this ballet created by emmy award winning producer/director, Clemente D'Alessio, was presented  earlier this year at a private screening at the National Academy of Arts and Television Sciences. Maestro Prior recently received a commission to compose music, including a piano concerto, for a Franco - German film with an international cast. You'll find more information on Maestro Prior at

The Northwest Mahler Festival is also pleased to announce the date for the 2011 Festival Finale Concert - Sunday July 17th, 2011. The 2011 Reading Sessions dates are: June 20, 21, 23, 28 and 30.  

Please stayed tuned for future announcements about the concert repertoire, reading session conductors and repertoire for all festival participants coming soon!

For the Nothwest Mahler Festival Board,

Wendy Lee