Photo: Richard Ion
Photo: Richard Ion

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) continues to build its reputation for discovering and developing young conductors as it today announces that its first Conducting Fellow, Alpesh Chauhan, has taken up the role of Assistant Conductor with the orchestra.

Alpesh, 24, was announced as the CBSO’s first Conducting Fellow in December 2013. The Fellowship was designed to enable aspiring young conductors to bridge the gap between full-time study and the classical music profession as well as offering unprecedented access to some of the best conductors, artists and musicians in the world. During the fellowship, Alpesh has accompanied the CBSO on two tours and taken rehearsals with the CBSO and CBSO Youth Orchestra. He has also conducted elsewhere, including at Netherlands Symphony Orchestra and Manchester Camerata.

In the role of Assistant Conductor, Alpesh will attend CBSO rehearsals and assist conductors, including Music Director Andris Nelsons. He will also take rehearsals with the CBSO Youth Orchestra this autumn and conduct a concert in his own right, the Summer Showcase, next June 25, 2015. The role will finish with the current concert season in July 2015.

Speaking about the role, Birmingham-born Alpesh said: “This means a huge deal to me. I have had a great year as Conducting Fellow and learned so much; I am sure that will continue in this ‘graduated’ role.

“During my fellowship year I have conducted in both concert and rehearsals, I have met with and assisted some great maestros and I’ve even had feedback from some of them about my own conducting. Most importantly, I have felt much more comfortable and confident in my own conducting invitations at other orchestras as I have had this solid grounding of knowing how a professional orchestra works and how best to achieve one’s own musical ideas.

“Members of the Orchestra have been extremely supportive – offering advice whenever they can. It has also been a fantastic opportunity to learn from Andris Nelsons – his mentoring in this role is a real highlight of the past year. I am very much looking forward to working with and learning more from the Orchestra, visiting conductors and Andris in his last season with the CBSO. The Assistant Conductor role will stand me in good stead – I feel – for carving out my own future.”

CBSO chief executive Stephen Maddock said: “The CBSO is committed to finding and nurturing new talent. Alpesh Chauhan joins the CBSO’s roster of distinguished conductors, including Music Director Andris Nelsons, Principal Guest Conductor Edward Gardner, Associate Conductor Michael Seal and Chorus Director Simon Halsey.”