Conductor Alexander de Blaeij studied the violin at the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam, studying with Else Krieg. He continued his education at the University of Mainz, studying with Denis Zsigmondy. He was appointed first violinist at the Arnhem Philharmonic (APO) in 2001.
As he showed talent in conducting an orchestra, honorary guest conductor Martin Sieghart invited De Blaeij to study with him in Graz in 2008, in order to further his talent. De Blaeij made his conducting debut in June 2008, leading the Arnhem Philharmonic in an educational project. In November 2010 he fronted the APO and the ‘Toonkunstkoor Arnhem’ by conducting ‘The Scream’, a protest against the then Governmental policies and cutbacks in the Arts at that time. De Blaeij made his debut as an opera conductor 2011 at the Kameroperahuis in Zwolle.
In 2012 De Blaeij continued to demonstrate his versatility by leading the Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra in a series of children’s concerts and conducted the orchestra’s annual Valentine’s Concert. Visitors were impressed with his interpretation of the ‘Vorspiel’ of Tristan and Isolde.
De Blaeij made his debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Januari 2016 in Amsterdam where he conducted a chamber ensemble in the AAA series of the orchestra. RCO asked Alexander to come back in may 2018 and conduct a program with Eva Maria Westbroek.
Alexander impressed the international jury panel at the prestigious Wiener Musik Seminar in July 2014. In the competition he conducted Bruckner with the Savaria Symphony Orchestra and won second price.
De Blaeij also experimented with new music and alternative forms of presentation. With the Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra, he made a number of groundbreaking productions. In Duisburg, Germany, they played at the Brachensiedlung Festifal and in collaboration with dance company Gif.t, he made Loveseat and The Cloud.
In 2012, 2013 and 2014, De Blaeij conducted projects at the Prins Claus conservatoire in Groningen. In 2017 he conducted a project at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien in Hannover, Germany.
‘It was my great pleasure to work with Alexander de Blaeij. His conducting was clear and elegant and he really was able to do everything to make it as easy to sing for me as possible . He has a talent to lead and accompany at the same time, which is very rare. The best part of it was that we had tremendous fun and really got in the flow together, the most wonderful achievement in making music together.‘
Eva Maria Westbroek
‘There are many conductors, young and old, with unambiguous and diverse talents. But conductors who possess the enviable ability to intensify the musical articulation in long lines and at the same time are able to ensure perfect structural coherence are rare nowadays. That can only be found in the old and venerable generation of Wilhelm Furtwängler, Sergiu Celibidache, Sir Reginald Goodall and Carlos Kleiber.However, exceptions confirm the rule, and Alexander de Blaeij is such an exception, witness his interpretation of the Prelude to Wagner’s music drama ‘Tristan and Isolde’ that took me back to the old days.’
Musicologist and leading Wagner scholar
‘As Chief conductor of the Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra, I was impressed by the excellent active violin playing of Alexander de Blaeij. Later, when I saw him conduct, it was clear to me that he has a strong personality connected with an innate talent for conducting. I invited Alexander to study conducting with me at the University of Graz to further develop his talent. In only a short time, De Blaeij rapidly developed into a reliable and challenging conductor.’
Honorary guestconductor van Het Gelders Orkest
‘Alexander de Blaeij is in my opinion a very talented and promising young conductor. Thanks to his beautifully natural and flowing conducting technique, he is able to directly inspire an orchetra with his passionate intensity and enthousiasm. His style of conducting grabs the orchestra’s attention and results in musical interpretations full of long lines of artistic tension.’
Sonja van Beek