We bid farewell to the conductor Alexander Vedernikov, who has died due to COVID-19 complications and who leaves us far too early. His interpretations of the great works of the classical repertoire and his tireless efforts to modernise them mean that his memory will live on.
After graduating from the Moscow Conservatory in 1988 he worked as a conductor at Stanislavski and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theatre, where he remained until 1990. From 1988 to 1995 he was assistant conductor to Vladimir Fedoseyev at the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio. In 1995 he founded the Russian Philharmonia Symphony Orchestra and was its artistic director and chief conductor until 2004.
In 2001 he became music director of the Bolshoi Theatre, where he worked hard to modernise the institution. Among other things, he conducted the first new production of the opera Boris Godunov since 1948, the first production of Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur (2002), Puccini’s Turandot, the original version of Glinka’s opera Ruslan and Ludmila and the first Russian performances of the original version of Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman and Verdi’s Falstaff. He remained at the Bolshoi until 2009 and then became chief conductor of the Odense Symphony Orchestra, where he remained until 2018. He then joined the Royal Danish Opera as chief conductor and became musical director and principal conductor of the Mikhailovsky Theatre in St Petersburg in 2019.
His rich career included performances at numerous other international opera houses, including Covent Garden in London, the Komische Oper in Berlin, the Paris Opera, the Opernhaus Zürich and the Metropolitan Opera in New York. He appeared twice in Ljubljana with the Bolshoi Theatre: first in 2007 with Boris Godunov at the 55th Ljubljana Festival, and then in 2009 at the 57th Ljubljana Festival as part of the Bolshoi´s world tour of the opera Eugene Onegin.