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Alexander Lazarev (Music Director)

Studied at the Leningrad Conservatoire, than – at the Moscow Conservatoire (L. Ginsbourg’s class) graduating with first class honors.

In 1971 he won first prize in the Soviet Union’s national competition for conductors, and the following year went on to win first prize and gold medal in the Karajan Competition in Berlin.

In 1973 - 1987 Alexander Lazarev was Bolshoi Theatre conductor, from 1987 to 1995 he was Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Bolshoi Theatre.

His repertoire is particularly enterprising in its scope, ranging from the eighteenth century to the avant-garde. In 1978 he founded the Ensemble of Soloists of the Bolshoi Theatre whose most important aim was the programming and wide dissemination of contemporary music by both Soviet and foreign composers.

In recent years he has worked as a regular guest with the Philharmonia Orchestra and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, appearing with them in London, Paris and Vienna. Other orchestras he has conducted include the Berlin Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw, Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, Orchestra dell’ Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Orchestre National de France, Oslo Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Symphony, NHK Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Montreal Symphony and the London Philharmonic, and he has appeared with opera companies such as the Theatre Royal de la Monnaie, Brussels, Arena di Verona, Paris National Opera, Lyon National Opera and the Bavarian State Opera.

He has been a regular visitor to the UK since his debut in 1987. From 1992 - 1995 he was Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and from 1997 to 2005 he was Principal Conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. His activities with them included complete cycles of the symphonies of Shostakovich and Prokofiev, appearances at the Proms and extensive foreign tours.

Alexander Lazarev has made over 35 recordings for Melodiya and Erato with the Bolshoi Symphony, and has also recorded for Virgin Classics, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra for Sony Classical, with the London Philharmonic Orchestra for Hyperion and BMG, and with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra for BIS and Linn Records.

In 2008 - 2016 he was the Principal Conductor of the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra.

Alexander Lazarev also performs as a guest conductor with philharmonic orchestras of Berlin, Munich, London, Milan (La Scala), Oslo, Melbourne, and Sidney; symphony orchestras of Bavarian Radio, Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, Accademia Di Santa Cecilia of Rome, Radio of Sweden, NHK Corporation of Japan; orchestras of Cleveland and Montreal, as well as National Orchestra of France and London Philharmonic Orchestra. At present the maestro is Chief Conductor of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Japan. In recent years, Alexander Lazarev, in the capacity of a guest conductor with Saint-Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, has regularly been performing in London, Birmingham, Paris, and Vienna. His recordings have been made by such labels as Erato (with the Bolshoi orchestra), Melodia, Virgin Classics, Sony Classical (with the BBC Symphony Orchestra), Hyperion, and BMG (with London Philharmonic Orchestra).


  • (1982) People’s Artist of Russia


  • (1986) Russian Federation State Prize
  • (2010) Order 4th class "For Merit to the Fatherland"
    (2016) The Moscow Prize in Literature and the Arts

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