"A conductor who deserves to have an important career on the podiums of American orchestras..."
—Henry Fogel, Senior Advisor, The League of American Orchestras
Alexander Platt has forged a unique career among the younger American conductors, combining a true commitment to regional orchestras and their communities with an ability to lead cutting-edge projects on the international scene. Building on his bedrock experience as Apprentice Conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Minnesota Opera (1991-93), Alexander is now in his third highly successful season as Music Director of both the La Crosse Symphony and the Greater Grand Forks Symphony, his seventeenth as Music Director of the Marion, Indiana Philharmonic, and his sixteenth as Music Director of the Wisconsin Philharmonic. This follows twelve seasons as Music Director of the Racine Symphony (1993-2005), which he transformed from a struggling community orchestra to an artistically and fiscally thriving institution, and three seasons (2007-10) as Principal Conductor of the Boca Raton Symphonia—an assignment born of his debut with the orchestra and Sir James Galway at the International Festival of the Arts Boca on 48 hours’ notice, where he led the ensemble (in the opinion of The Palm Beach Post) into becoming the finest of the orchestras to emerge from the collapse of the Florida Philharmonic.
Following acclaimed assignments with the Minnesota Opera and the Skylight Opera Theatre, Alexander Platt made his debut with Chicago Opera Theater in 1997 (conducting Mozart’s DON GIOVANNI), and was appointed Resident Conductor and Music Advisor in 2001. Over the next twelve seasons, he led the Chicago premieres of Britten’s DEATH IN VENICE, John Adams’ NIXON IN CHINA, the Bizet/Peter Brook LA TRAGEDIE DE CARMEN, and the Britten/Shakespeare A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM; the double-bill of Schoenberg’s ERWARTUNG and Bartok’s BLUEBEARD’S CASTLE, with Samuel Ramey and Nancy Gustafson; the world premiere of the Tony Kushner/Maurice Sendak version of Hans Krasa’s BRUNDIBAR; the premiere of his own version for young people of Tchaikovsky’s IOLANTA; and the world-premiere recording of Kurka’s THE GOOD SOLDIER SCHWEIK—all to high acclaim in Opera News, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times of London, and both the great Chicago papers. In 2007 he made his Canadian debut at the Banff Festival, leading the co-premiere in conjunction with Calgary Opera of John Estacio’s FROBISHER, to accolades from Opera Canada. In Spring 2012 Alexander concluded his tenure at COT with the Chicago premiere of the Dmitri Shostakovich Moscow, Land of the Cherry-Bird Trees, to unanimous praise in the media.
As a guest conductor Alexander Platt has led the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the City of London Sinfonia, the Freiburg Philharmonic in Germany and for three years the Aalborg Symphony in Denmark, as well as the Minnesota Contemporary Ensemble, Camerata Chicago, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, the Illinois, Lexington, Riverside California and Hudson Valley Philharmonics, and the Houston, Charlotte, Columbus, Flagstaff, Sioux City, El Paso and Indianapolis Symphonies. In 2012-13 he makes his debut with the Champaign-Urbana Symphony, as well as a return visit to Boca Raton. Alexander Platt made his New York debut in 2007 with the Brooklyn Philharmonic before thousands in Central Park, the first of several appearances with the orchestra.
In addition to all these activities, Alexander Platt spends his summers in the Hudson Valley as the sixth Music Director of the Maverick Concerts in Woodstock, New York—the oldest summer chamber-music festival in America, where he follows in the footsteps of legendary maestrias Leon Barzin and Georges Barrere. Under his direction the concert series has become a thriving, eclectic festival. A recent highlight of his work there was his leading the world premiere of his chamber-orchestra version of David Del Tredici’s landmark music-drama FINAL ALICE (1976). The 2007 performance won accolades in The New York Times, which praised it as a workable version of Del Tredici’s masterpiece.
Alexander Platt has been devoted to the music of our time. Over the last three decades he has led the U.S. premieres of concert works of Britten, Shostakovich, Ned Rorem, Colin Matthews and Judith Weir, and has been an advocate for composers as diverse as Michael Torke, Libby Larsen, Joan Tower, and Simon Holt. In 2010 and 2011, with the Wisconsin Philharmonic he led Aaron Jay Kernis’ Simple Songs, the world premiere of Daron Hagen’s Third Symphony, and the co-premiere of Joseph Schwantner’s symphony Chasing Light; at the Maverick Concerts, he led the world premiere of the chamber version of Hagen’s Seven Last Words for piano and orchestra; and while in Grand Forks and La Crosse he directed the North American premiere of both the Britten Temporal Variations for oboe and strings, and the reconstruction of his unfinished Clarinet Concerto for Benny Goodman. In summer 2012 at the Maverick Concerts, he leads the premieres of works by Harold Meltzer and Russell Platt, and in the autumn, with the La Crosse Symphony and the Wisconsin Philharmonic, he leads the world premiere of his commission of John Corigliano's Sonata for Violin and Orchestra, with violinist Lara St. John.
A research scholar for the National Endowment for the Humanities before he entered college, Alexander Platt was educated at Yale University, as a conducting fellow at both Aspen and Tanglewood, and then at King’s College Cambridge under a British Marshall Scholarship. At Cambridge he led all of the important musical societies, deputized in the legendary King’'s College Choir, and as conductor of the Cambridge University Opera Society led revivals of both Britten’s OWEN WINGRAVE and Berlioz’s BEATRICE AND BENEDICT, to high praise in the London press. During this time he also made his professional conducting debut at Aldeburgh, his London debut at the Wigmore Hall, and reconstructed the lost chamber version of the Mahler Fourth Symphony which has gone on to become a classic of the repertoire. In addition to recording for National Public Radio, Minnesota Public Radio, the South-West German Radio and the BBC, his 2004 recording of Max Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy with violinist Rachel Barton Pine still appears frequently on radio stations across America.
2012-'13 schedule | 2011-’12 schedule | 2010-’11 schedule | 2009-'10 schedule
2008-'09 schedule | 2007-'8 schedule | 2006-'7 schedule | 2005-'6 schedule