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Recognized as one of the most exciting, emerging talents on the musical stage today, ALEXANDER MICKELTHWATE began his tenure as Music Director of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra this season. Praised for his richly idiomatic readings, fearless approach, and first-rate technique, the German-born conductor has attracted attention for his charismatic presence on the podium and command of a wide range of musical styles.
Alexander Mickelthwate also holds the post of Associate Conductor with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for 2006/07, where he has served as Assistant Conductor for the past two years, appearing regularly at Walt Disney Concert Hall and at the Hollywood Bowl. In his first year, he made his subscription debut on 30 minutes notice when he stepped in for Mikko Franck leading Shostakovich's Symphony No. 12 and the John Adams Violin Concerto. In May 2007 he replaced Miguel Harth-Bedoya in a program featuring soprano Dawn Upshaw.
During his tenure as Assistant Conductor with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, which he completed at the end of the 2003/04 season, he co-founded the new music ensemble Bent Frequency. Always striving to engage young people in music, he conducted more than 60 Young People's Concerts with the Atlanta Symphony and organized an exchange between the Atlanta Youth Symphony and Berlin Youth Orchestra during the summer of 2003, hosting concerts in both cities.
As a guest conductor, Mickelthwate has appeared with the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Ft. Worth, Houston, Indianapolis, Nashville, New Jersey, Oregon, and Toronto, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Chicago Civic Orchestra, the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, the Eos Orchestra, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa). Upcoming performances include appearances with the San Antonio Symphony and his debut with the New York Philharmonic. Abroad, Mickelthwate made his European debut with the Hamburg Symphony in April 2006 as well as debuts with the Orchestre Phillharmonique de Monte Carlo and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Having inherited a passion for opera from his grandmother, a professional opera singer, Mickelthwate has been a coach, pianist, and conductor at New York's Amato Opera and an assistant conductor for the Baltimore Opera, the Florida Grand Opera, and the El Paso Opera.
Mickelthwate was born in Germany into a musical family. He developed his musical talent at an early age as a cellist in youth orchestras and chamber groups, as a singer in a professional choir, and as a pianist and organist. He studied conducting and piano performance at the Musikhochschule in Karlsruhe as well as at the Eötvös Institute in Hungary.
After winning a Peabody merit scholarship, Mickelthwate came to America to study at Baltimore's Peabody Institute of Music with Frederik Prausnitz and Gustav Meier. Further studies took place with Seiji Ozawa, Robert Spano, and André Previn as a fellow of the Tanglewood Music Center and with Leonard Slatkin at the National Conducting Institute in Washington, D.C.
Alexander Mickelthwate is married, and has a young son.