Aleksandrs Viļumanis

ALEKSANDRS VIĻUMANIS was born in Latvia. He studied percussion, choral and opera (pit) orchestra conducting at the Latvian Academy of Music.
He was hired by the Latvian National Opera in 1962 and assumed various duties as orchestra member, prompter, choral director and assistant to conductor.
Aleksandrs Viļumanis got the contract as conductor at the  LNO in 1970. His initial opera productions were Rachmaninoff's Aleko" Mozart's Cosi fan tutte, Nikolai's The Merry Wives of Windsor, Rubinstein's The Demon.
From 1972 until 1975 he made a successful internship at Leningrad's Kirov Opera and Ballet Theatre where his conducting duties included Verdi's La Traviata, Il Trovatore, Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin and one-act ballets Chopiniana and Glazunov's The Seasons.

In 1975, he was appointed the LNO Artistic Director and Chief Conductor. His first productions were Tchaikovsky's The Sleeping Beauty and (for the first time in former USSR's history) Verdi's Macbeth. In 1977 he conducted the acclaimed production of Gayane in collaboration with the choreographer and ballet master Boris Eifman and composer Aram Khachaturian.

In 1980 the triumphant LNO guest performances at Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre were performed under the baton of Aleksandrs Viļumanis. His repertoire at the LNO in those years also included Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex, Bartok's Duke Bluebeard's Castle, Donizetti's L'Elisir d'amore, Gounod's Faust, Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, Strauss' Salome.

Tenure at the LNO until 1987 featured a wide and varied repertoire and a new generation of singers, many of whom now work in opera companies abroad. In 1987 and 1988, he headed the All-Union Cello and Glinka Vocalist Competitions.

From 1990 until 1994 Aleksandrs Viļumanis was conductor at St.Petersburg's Maryinsky Opera and Ballet Theatre where he conducted Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet, Delibes Coppelia, Borodin's Prince Igor, Verdi's Otello, Aida, La Traviata and Il Trovatore, Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, Don Pasquale, Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker, Adam's Giselle.

With NVC he recorded Prokofiev's The Stone Flower and Delibes's Coppelia, the latter receiving positive reviews from Teldec critics in England.

In August 1991 he toured to Italy with Mstislav Rostropovich. He has also performed in guest performances in France with the ballet company and in  Italy with orchestra.

In 1994, he was re-appointed Chief Conductor and Artistic Director at the LNO holding this post until 1996. He has toured extensively with LNO ballet and opera companies to France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Finland, England, Holland, and Belgium.

Since 2000, he is a regular guest conductor at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.


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