Conductor • Cello
• Born 1960
Often appears with
Alexander Rudin has been equally active as a cellist and conductor, performing music ranging from historically informed readings of Baroque music to the contemporary era. Rudin is the longtime music director of the Musica Viva Chamber Orchestra.
Alexander Israilevich Rudin was born in Moscow on November 25, 1960. He graduated from the city's Gnessin Institute (now the Gnessin State Musical College) in 1983, studying cello and piano. He went on to the Moscow Conservatory, studying conducting with Dmitri Kitayenko, but he continued to play the cello and won competitions, including the Concertino Praga Competition in Prague, the Bach Competition in Leipzig, and the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. As a cello soloist, Rudin has appeared with such orchestras as the Royal Philharmonic, the Vienna Symphony, and the Danish Radio Symphony. He has premiered cello works by Dmitri Kabalevsky, Edison Denisov, and other 20th century and contemporary composers. An enthusiastic chamber player, Rudin has collaborated with pianists Mikhail Pletnev, Eliso Virsaladze, and Nikolai Lugansky, among other artists. He has played the viola da gamba in historically informed performances of Baroque music, not a common specialty in Russia for much of his career.
Rudin became the music director of the Musica Viva Chamber Orchestra in 1988, even before completing his conducting degree, and he retains the position. He has conducted both that group and other orchestras, including the Moscow Philharmonic, on recordings. His discography as a cellist is also large, beginning as early as 1982 with a Vox recording of Haydn's cello concertos with the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra. Rudin has also recorded for Naxos, Fuga Libera, Cello Classics, and other labels. In 2021, he performed Schubert's Arpeggione Sonata, D. 821, on the difficult original instrument with fortepianist Aapo Häkkinen on a Naxos release. Rudin has taught at the Moscow Conservatory and the Yasar University in Izmir, Turkey, and he is in demand for master classes in chamber music.