Alex Shelley Thomas Dagg 2 copy

Born in London in October 1979, Alexander Shelley, the son of celebrated concert pianists, studied cello and conducting in Germany and first gained widespread attention when he was unanimously awarded First Prize at the 2005 Leeds Conductors Competition.

He succeeded Pinchas Zukerman as Music Director of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra in September 2015 and has been Chief Conductor of the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra since September 2009, where he is credited with transforming the Orchestra’s playing, education work and touring activities. These have included concerts in Italy, Belgium, China and a re-invitation to the Musikverein in Vienna.

In January 2015 he assumed the role of Principal Associate Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with whom he curates an annual series of concerts at Cadogan Hall and tours both nationally and internationally. He also works regularly with the leading orchestras of Europe, North America, Asia and Australasia. This season sees him returning twice to Leipzig’s Gewandhaus Orchestra, as well as to the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, DSO Berlin, Hong Kong Philharmonic and the Frankfurt Radio, Gothenburg, Melbourne and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras. Forthcoming debuts include Bergen, Helsinki and Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestras and the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra. In January 2017 he again leads Germany’s National Youth Orchestra on an extensive national tour, with performances in the Philharmonic Halls of Berlin (broadcast live on Digital Hall), Cologne and Essen, as well as Hamburg Opera and the Semperoper Dresden.

Shelley’s operatic engagements have included The Merry Widow and Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet (Royal Danish Opera); La bohème (Opera Lyra/National Arts Centre), Iolanta (Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen), Così fan tutte (Montpellier) and The Marriage of Figaro (Opera North) in 2015. In 2017 he leads a co-production of Harry Somers’ Louis Riel with the NACO and Canadian Opera Company.

Shelley’s second recording for Deutsche Grammophon, Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood is a brand-new adaptation of the Prokofiev children’s classic recorded with the Bundesjungendorchester. Alexander Shelley enjoys a close relationship with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, with whom he performs regularly both in their subscription concerts and around Germany. He is artistic director of their Zukunftslabor project - an ECHO and Deutsche Gründerpreis winning series which aims to build a lasting relationship between the orchestra and a new generation of concert-goers through grass-roots engagement and which uses music as a source for social cohesion and integration.

Through his work as Founder and Artistic Director of the Schumann Camerata and their ground-breaking “440Hz” series in Düsseldorf during his studies and through his leadership of outreach projects in Nuremberg, Bremen and Ottawa, inspiring future generations of classical musicians and listeners has always been central to Shelley’s work.