Gibson, Sir Alexander D. (ON HOLD)


1st principal conductor & artistic director of the Scottish National Orchestra 1959-84, founded Scottish Opera 1962, music director to 1986



Autograph ID: 5674
Condition: Very good, slight stray ink spots at top from folding of signed card, no smearing to signature
Description: “(1926-1995) Scottish conductor, studied music at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow and in London, Salzburg and Siena. He was Asst. Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra 1952-54 and conducted 2 productions for the amateur Glasgow Grand Opera Society in 1954. At his appointment in 1957 as musical director of Sadler’s Wells, he was the youngest ever to hold that position. Returning to Glasgow, in 1959 he became the 1st Scottish principal conductor and artistic director of the Scottish National Orchestra, a post he held until 1984. Under his leadership the orchestra built an international reputation through recordings and foreign tours and appeared regularly in the Edinburgh International Festival and in London at The Proms.

He was principal guest conductor of the Houston Symphony Orchestra 1981-83 and principal conductor of the Guildford Philharmonic. He founded Scottish Opera in 1962 and was music director to 1986. Through his artistic achievements the Theatre Royal, Glasgow was bought from Scottish Television and transformed in 1975 into the 1st national opera house in Scotland, home to Scottish Opera and Scottish Ballet, and from 1980, the Scottish Theatre Company. In 1987, he was appointed conductor laureate of Scottish Opera remaining so for the rest of his life. He became a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1967, knighted in 1977 and became president of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, where in his memory, the Alexander Gibson School of Opera was opened in 1998, 1st purpose-built opera school in Great Britain.

He had an affinity for Scandinavian music, particularly Jean Sibelius whose work he recorded several times, and was awarded Finland’s Sibelius Medal for his distinguished service to the composer’s music. He was strongly committed to contemporary music and in 1961 founded a new music festival in Glasgow, now Musica Nova Festival, Glasgow. A constant advocate of new music by Scottish composers, he is commemorated by a bust in the foyer of the Theatre Royal, Glasgow, home of Scottish Opera.

Type: Christmas Card

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