Nikolay Alexeev

Chief Conductor 2001–2010

Nikolay Alexeev’s cooperation with ERSO began in January 1983. Peeter Lilje, the then principal conductor of ENSO, invited 26-year-old Nikolai Alexeev – the winner of Herbert von Karajan Conductors Competition, last-year student of Leningrad Conservatoire and his good friend – to conduct the orchestra.

The cooperation intensified in the second half of the 1990s, and in the 1997/1998 season, Alexeev was the principal guest conductor of the orchestra.

As the principal conductor, Alexeev, who preferred the classics of symphonic music and large-scale orchestras, paid great attention to elaboration of the sound and technique of the orchestra. The players and the audiences soon realized that Alexeev did not love superficial effects  – “I tell everything I’ve got to tell through music. One has to love the stage, but I have’nt got that kind of love – I love the orchestra.” (From an interview to Riina Luik, Muusika, March 2010).

Nikolay Alexeev went on three extensive foreign tours with ENSO – to Italy in March 2003 and to the United States in March 2009 and in October 2913.

Nikolay Alexeev (1 May 1956) graduated from the class of Mariss and Arvids Jansons at Leningrad Conservatoire in 1983 specializing in symphony orchestra conducting. He is the winner of Herbert von Karajan Conductors Competition (West Berlin, 1982), Václav Talich Conductors Competition (Prague, 1985) and Min-On Conductors Competition (Tokyo, 1985).

Nikolay Alexeev has been an assistant to Yuri Temirkanov, principal conductor of Leningrad Kirov Opera (now St Petersburg Mariinsky Theatre), chief conductor of Ulyanovsk Philharmonic Orchestra, chief conductor of Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, principal guest conductor of ERSO and Moscow Bolshoi Theatre. From 2000 he has been the conductor of St Petersburg Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra and from 2002 the principal guest conductor of Het Gelders Orkest (the Netherlands). From 2001–2010 he was the principal conductor of ENSO.

In addition to all major symphony orchestras in Moscow and St Petersburg, Nikolay Alexeev has conducted many well-known orchestras abroad, giving concerts in a number of cities in Europe, Japan and the United States.

Recognitions: Order of the White Star of the Third Class for advancement of Estonian musical life (2006), People’s Artist of the Russian Federation (2007), Cultural Award of the Republic of Estonia for creative accomplishments as the principal conductor and artistic director of ERSO (2010)


Mozart & Reinecke. Flure Concertos. Conductors Nikolay Alexeev & Arvo Volmer. Woodwinds 1997.
100 Years of Estonian Symphony. Conductors Vello Pähn, Arvo Volmer, Nikolai Alexeev, Peeter Lilje, Neeme Järvi, Paul Mägi, Paavo Järvi, Heino Eller.ERP 2004.