Working with the most important ensembles and figures in both classical and pop music, Alexandra Arrieche possesses an innate talent for moving adeptly between musical genres. She commands a wide range of musical leadership skills, engaging a variety of audiences and communities joyfully and with resounding success. These qualities distinguish her as one of the most unique and exciting conductors of her generation.
Alexandra won the Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship in 2011 and the Baltimore Symphony Conducting Fellowship in 2012. She subsequently served as a conducting assistant to Maestra Marin Alsop at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, and at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. Alexandra was also mentored by Gustav Meier at the Peabody Conservatory of Music and Harold Farberman at the Bard Conservatory of Music. In addition to her studies, Alexandra completed numerous master classes with world-renowned conductors including Kurt Masur, Apo Hsu, Robert Spano, Hugh Wolff, George Manahan, Johannes Schlaefli and Cliff Colnot.
In 2015, Alexandra was invited to conduct the European Emmy Award-winning Night of the Proms. Due to overwhelming success, Alexandra was engaged as the Antwerp Philharmonic and NOTP’s principal conductor and production company member in 2017. Alexandra collaborates regularly with pop music icons such as Bryan Ferry, Seal, Simple Minds, Earth Wind and Fire, Pointer Sisters, Natasha Bedingfield, Chaka Kahn, Roger Hodgson (Supertramp), Peter Cetera (Chicago), Alan Parsons and John Miles.
In 2016, Alexandra was appointed Music Director of the Henderson Symphony Orchestra and has since elevated the arts scene of the Nevada Vegas Valley with her exciting, community-sensitive programing. Her creative collaborations between music and other art forms including culinary, dance, and visual art has brought new life to the Henderson arts community. Under Alexandra’s leadership, the Henderson Symphony has become one of the few orchestras in the country to offer a free concert season in addition to a slate of energetic community youth outreach programs. Alexandra developed a Conducting Studio in Brazil in 2015 to address the lack of opportunity for conductors in her home country. This program was expanded into a highly successful international program in collaboration with the Henderson Symphony Orchestra in 2019.
As a guest conductor Alexandra has appeared with some of the finest orchestras on three continents including the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Sinfonietta, Classical Music Institute, the Sarasota Orchestra, OFUNAM (Mexico) and Mexico National Orchestra, Filarmed (Colombia), and the Orquestra Sinfonica de Porto Alegre (Brazil). Recent collaborations include a series of recordings with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic featuring Brazilian Music arranged by Roeland Jacobs. “Saudade”, the first album of the series, won the Edison Prize 2020, one of the most prestigious music awards in Europe, as the best Jazz album of the year. She has also collaborated with and championed new works by some of the finest composers of our generation including Jennifer Higdon, Mason Bates, Clarice Assad, Kevin Putz, Anna Clyne, John Adams, James Macmillan, Michael Daugherty, John Corgliano, Christopher Rouse, and Jennifer Bellor.
During the pandemic Alexandra started a Podcast series inspired by her experience with Night of the Proms called “Beethoven was a Rockstar". She explores the limits between classical and pop music, finding where the boundaries are, and breaking through them. The first season Alexandra interviewed iconic figures from both worlds including Marin Alsop, Mason Bates, Joe Jackson, Suzanne Vega and Nile Rodgers. Music Historian Christopher Gibbs opened the season with the episode, “Classical and Pop: Was there always a division?" In less than three months, the series has already had thousands of downloads from all over the world.
Fun facts about Alex!
One of my first memories were playing with toy Instruments and exploring sounds.
Who did you look up to as a child?
My mother. Definitely. She is probably the only person I know who managed to have two completely different successful careers in one lifetime on top of being a mother of two.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I used to work as a makeup artist when I was in school. It helped me to pay for some voices lessons at that time.
I am a foodie. I usually fantasize about food in general, so I am up to anything that is fresh and made with love.
Wine and sparkling water. If I must choose one: Sparkling wine!
Who is your most listened to artist?
Queen and Freddie Mercury for sure.
Do you collect anything?
Not really. I don’t think have time or the lifestyle for that. My partner is a record collector and I admire his passion and his commitment. That said, I do keep some special batons in a special wooden box.
Do you have any hobbies?
I guess podcasting started as a hobby and became a passion and now it is a big project.
I love it. I have so much fun, and I am always learning something new about the artists, and the whole process of editing, promoting, etc.
What is the biggest risk you've taken?
Leaving my country to fulfill my dream of becoming a Professional Conductor.
What is the first concert you ever attended?
Classical was in a Contemporary Music Festival in Spain. I still remember the program: Brahms’ Symphony n.2 and Cristobal Halffter’s Odradek.
Pop was Madonna – Candy Shop Tour in São Paulo. (My sister forced me to go and I thank her until this date!)
What movie have you seen the most times?
Probably the ones I’ve performed with live Orchestra (Metropolis, Wizard of Oz, Close Encounters, Coco...)
Voluntarily, probably Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I love that movie.
Describe your dream home.
Lots of space. High ceilings. No carpets.
Your most cherished possession?
On 2017 Night of the Proms toured with Roger Hodgson (Supertramp). He had toured with the show several times before I joined the production. He knew the show well but that was the first time he performed with the “new conductor”. He was so sweet and supportive. He was really impressed with the new directions we were taking and level we reached. In the end of the tour, I asked him to sign my Breakfast in America album and he wrote:
“For the one and only Alexandra,
It was so much fun touring and performing with you. Keep breaking the mold.”
It was very special to read that from one of my childhood heroes and now have it framed on my wall.
Funniest thing that happened to you on stage?
Long story short: I was given a piggyback ride by Seal on the last Night of the Proms show in Antwerp, 2018. It was aired in national television.
What is one thing you've learned that you wish you could tell your younger self?
Life it too short to drink bad wine.
WEBSITE // alexandraarrieche.com