Obituary: Conductor Alexander Vedernikov Dies at 56

By Dejan Vukosavljevic
(Credit: Marco Borggreve)

Famed Russian conductor Alexander Vedernikov has died at the age of 56, after having been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Vedernikov died on Friday, Oct. 30 after being put on a ventilator for few days following the diagnosis.

Born in Moscow, Vedernikov was the son of the bass Alexander Filipovich Vedernikov and Natalia Nikolaevna Gureeva. The conductor went on to study at the Moscow Conservatory, where he graduated in 1988 and studied with Leonid Nikolaev and Mark Ermler.

He went on to work as a conductor in the Stanislavski and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theatre and became assistant conductor to Vladimir Fedoseyev at the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra. In 1995, he established the Russian Philharmonia Symphony Orchestra and served as its artistic director and chief conductor until 2004.

In 2001, he became the music director of the Bolshoi Theatre and was later appointed the Music Director of the Mikhailovsky Theatre in January 2019. He also served as a Chief Conductor of the Royal Danish Opera.

Vedernikov conducted a number of operas, including Bizet’s “Carmen,” and Puccini’s “Turandot” at the Royal Danish Opera, Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana” and Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci” at the Opernhaus Zürich, and Meyerbeer’s “Les Huguenots” and Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin” at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, among others. He also conducted the BBC Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham, Danish National Symphony, NHK Symphony, Russian National Symphony, Orchestre de Paris, and London Philharmonic.

OperaWire expresses its condolences to Alexander Vedernikov’s family and friends in these difficult times.