Conductor Alpesh Chauhan joined Birmingham Opera Company as Music Director on 1 July 2020, standing alongside Artistic Director Graham Vick to lead the Company on its mission to make great opera for all the peoples of Birmingham.

Birmingham born Alpesh was Principal Cello with the CBSO Youth Orchestra. He entered the Royal Northern College of Music in 2008 to study the cello before pursuing the prestigious Master’s Conducting Course. Highlights of Chauhan’s career include a subscription concert with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Centre and his BBC Proms debut with the BBC Philharmonic, a production of Turandot in Valencia at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía as well as regular appearances with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra where until 2016 he was Assistant Conductor. For the past five years Alpesh has enjoyed a fruitful relationship with the Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini in Parma, who awarded him the title of Principal Conductor and with whom he has performed and recorded staples of the great symphonic repertoire, including a complete cycle of Brahms’ symphonies. He regularly appears as a guest with acclaimed British orchestras including across the UK and further afield internationally. Chauhan made his UK opera debut in 2019 with Birmingham Opera Company, the CBSO and director Graham Vick for Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, which won a Royal Philharmonic Society Award. He is a finalist in the International Opera Awards 2020.

A keen advocate of music education for young people, Alpesh has worked with ensembles such as the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland and the symphony orchestras of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the Royal Northern College of Music. He is a patron of Awards for Young Musicians, a UK charity supporting talented young people from disadvantaged backgrounds on their musical journeys.

On the appointment Graham Vick, Artistic Director, Birmingham Opera Company said: "From the word go it was clear to me that Alpesh not only was an outstanding conductor with great theatrical flair but also had a profound empathy for the Company. As the need for the Company’s values becomes ever more urgent, I am thrilled that he has agreed to join me at the helm.”

Alpesh Chauhan said: "It’s a huge privilege for me to take up the post of Music Director at the Birmingham Opera Company. Following the success of last year’s project - Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk - I’m particularly excited to work more alongside Graham Vick - one of the world’s greatest opera directors. It’ll be an honour to stand at the front of this special organisation which combines its massed forces to be a shining beacon for Birmingham. Growing up in Birmingham gave me the best of musical starts - being immersed in a city of culture at the highest level - and I’m now extremely happy to be a regular contributor to the city’s glowing cultural output. I am especially delighted to be a part of an organisation such as BOC which constantly thinks outside of the box with its totally immersive performances, successfully broadening the opera audience.”

Photo credits: Patrick Allen/ Opera Omnia (above); Luca Pezzani (homepage)

Read more about Graham and Alpesh's first collaboration, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk.