In the latest move of what is already an astonishingly advanced career, 17-year-old Alexander Prior has been named as assistant to the guest conductors at Seattle Symphony.
The new role – officially titled ‘Chairman’s Fellow’ – will see the English composer and conductor shadow the US orchestras guest conductors, being ready to step into their shoes at the last minute if and when needed.
Prior, who attracted admiration and odium in equal measure when he was profiled in Channel 4’s The World’s Greatest Musical Prodigies last year, has already established himself as a composer of some standing. In August, he told BBC Music Magazine that he was writing ‘a six-opera cycle based mainly on Slavic, pre-Christian epic sources with contributions from Indian Vedic cycles.’ As a conductor, he was a runner-up in the 2009 Leeds Conductors Competition and this month will be appearing at the Sage, Gateshead. Later this year, he will be taking part at the Tanglewood festival in the US as a conducting fellow.