British teen hired to conduct Seattle Symphony

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by MIMI JUNG / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on February 2, 2010 at 7:53 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 2 at 10:29 PM

Alexander Prior is not old enough to vote, but he has already conducted some of the world's most prestigious orchestras. Now this 17-year-old British musical prodigy is part of the Seattle Symphony.

Prior has joined the conducting staff as the Assistant to the Guest Conductors.  He just completed four years at the St. Petersburg Conservatory and has conducted major orchestras in Europe and Russia, but this is his first professional job.

The British teenager says his youth brings a new perspective to the stage by taking risks musically and breaking rules.

"It's energy, it's love of life, love of nature, love of people, being happy, having wide eyes and looking at how beautiful the world is."

Though he is only 17, he has a depth and maturity normally seen in a seasoned conductor.

"I think he has a real heart and expressiveness for the music that gives you an opportunity to really express.  It's going to be interesting to watch his career," said Sande Gillette, second violinist with the Seattle Symphony.

Prior says his hope is to not only inspire young musicians, but introduce classical music to an audience that hasn't been exposed to it. 

Click here to find out more about Alexander Prior.

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