Guest conductor Alexander Shelley leading an orchestra.

Meet Guest Conductor Alexander Shelley

Alexander Shelley has recently been appointed as Artistic and Music Director of Artis­­—Naples in Florida, which will see him provide artistic leadership for Naples Philharmonic, as well as for the entire multidisciplinary arts organization. He now takes up the position of Artistic and Music Director Designate before beginning his tenure as Artistic and Music Director from season 2024-25.

Guest conductor Alexander Shelley.
Guest conductor Alexander Shelley

He is Music Director of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra and Principal Associate Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition, he is also Artistic Director of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen’s ECHO and Deutsche Gründerpreis winning “Zukunftslabor.” In August 2017 Shelley concluded his tenure as Chief Conductor of the Nürnberger Symphoniker, a position he held since September 2009.

Unanimous winner of the 2005 Leeds Conductor’s Competition, he has since worked regularly with the leading orchestras of Europe, North America, Asia, and Australasia, including the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, NDR Orchester Hannover, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Orchestre National de Belgique, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Gothenburg Symphony, Stockholm Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and Milwaukee, Melbourne, and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras.

Shelley’s operatic engagements have included The Merry Widow and Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet (Den Kongelige Opera); La Bohème (Opera Lyra/National Arts Centre), Iolanta (Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen), Così Fan Tutte (Opéra National de Montpellier), and (Opera North) in 2015. In 2017 he led a co-production of Harry Somers’ Louis Riel with the NACO and Canadian Opera Company.

Some Fun Facts

  • Alexander Shelley is married to personal trainer, fitness model, and author Zoe Shelley. They met when Zoe was a member of Britain’s National Youth Orchestra and Shelley was attending rehearsals as a young assistant to Yan Pascal Tortelier.  
  • They live between Canada and London and have two sons, Sasha Felix Shelley, born in Ottawa in 2018 and Leo Arlen Shelley, born in Ottawa in 2021.
  • In 2023, Shelley was conferred with the Cross of the Federal Order of Merit, Germany’s highest civilian honor, by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier for his services to music and culture.
  • Shelley is an avid runner and tennis player and is passionately interested in social sciences, philosophy and psychology.
  • He has collaborated with many stars from outside the classical realm, including Diana Ross, William Orbit, KD Lang, the Söhne Mannheims & Xavier Naidoo, and Diana Krall. 
  • 80,000 people attended Alexander’s final open-air concert as Chief Conductor of Nuremberg Symphony.
  • Shelley and his father have performed together on a few occasions, including a cycle of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concertos with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra in 2018.

Maestro Shelley will be joining us for our New World Symphony concert, Nov. 30 – Dec. 2, 2023 at 8 p.m. To learn more and get tickets, please click here.

Meet Guest Conductor Alexander Shelley

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