One-term UK conductor quits Canada

One-term UK conductor quits Canada


norman lebrecht

May 25, 2022

The heavily promoted Alex Prior, 29, has ended his tenure as music director in Edmonton after five years.

Progress report here.

His next job is in Germany as GMD in provincial Erfurt.


  • music lover says:

    Erfurt is not provincial. It is a very large “A” category opera house .

  • Anthony Sayer says:

    Erfurt has a very resourceful GI, Guy Montavon. He brought Anna Tomowa-Sintow and Cheryl Studer to his previous theatre, Gießen, where he also gave Roberto Alagna’s brothers their first set design job (Barber of Seville, 2001-2 season), brought Alagna to Erfurt (can’t remember the project) and much more. The theatre building is pretty new, too, finished in 2002.

  • Hugo Preuß says:

    If only every British city of 213.000 inhabitants had a professional opera house and an orchestra like Erfurt. The competition is tough. The small state of Thuringia has 2.1 million people and 12 full time professional orchestras and several full time opera houses. One way to get attention from the national media is to stage neglected music and opera – and they do. I’ll take the plethora of choices I have in Thuringia and neighboring cities over Berlin any time!

    • Thomas M. says:

      Absolutely. Even with budget cuts and orchestra mergers in recent years, Germany has an orchestral and operatic landscape other countries can only dream of, including the United States (I’m not counting amateur orchestras with three performances a year!) and certainly England. I still can’t get over the fact that many cities in the UK with several hundred thousand inhabitants don’t have a single “standing” professional orchestra. Like Nottingham eg: 400,000+ people, no professional orchestra (2 amateur ones). They entirely depend on visits from the UK (Hallé in particular) and abroad). It’s a disaster, a sign of cultural bankruptcy.

  • Tim says:

    Spend one winter in Edmonton and you’ll understand why he’s heading to Erfurt.

    • Violinista says:

      I have spent several winters in Alberta and my experience is that people move on for other reasons than the weather, indeed some move there for the pleasure of the winter sunshine, away from the BC or eastern Canada rain, so depressing.

  • Eugenio Deister Mateos says:

    Thank you I had not heard of Alex Prior, he his evidently a revolutionary figure that has no doubt enhanced a new form of the way music may be percieved by including more world composers and by incorporating the country musical expression in his concerts, canadians must surely be gratifyed.

  • Fiddler says:

    I have had the pleasure of personally working with Alex Prior as well as witnessing the results of his works with several different orchestras. Through my experiences, I have always found him to be professional, hard working, knowledgeable, a well as very talented. Alex is a conductor who has the ability to connect with not only his fellow musicians, but with his audiences – creating some amazing musical moments that his listeners enjoy and respond to.

    Erfurt is in for quite the musical treat.