B i o g r a p h y
Alan Cook is a conductor, opera coach, and musicologist with many years of experience across a wide range of operatic and symphonic repertoire who, on the podium, is described as giving “…clear direction…. producing a lush, richly-coloured soundscape”.
A graduate of both music and philosophy, Alan began at the organ and developed his career as organist and choir master before completing a Grad.Dip. in Opera (VCA) as a repetiteur and Masters in Conducting. After winning scholarships from the Ian Potter Trust and Acclaim Awards, he went to Italy and studied with Bruno Aprea of the Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia, Rome, during which time he also participated in international conducting masterclasses, and in festivals conducted operatic masterpieces in such as Aida, L’Elisir d'Amore, Pagliacci, and Cavalleria Rusticana.
During his ten-year sojourn in Europe, Alan performed in many countries including Austria, Italy, Spain, Ukraine, and Russia among others as both accompanist and conductor. He also worked extensively as an opera coach to many international singers including at the Liceu Opera of Barcelona where he was resident and the Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago. He was Principal Guest Conductor of orchestras in Ukraine and Russia for an extended period during which time he developed an expertise in Russian repertoire and language.
Returning to Australia in 2014 with fluency in five languages, Alan took up roles with various companies and returned to Melbourne Conservatorium to commence a PhD on the operas of Rimsky-Korsakov.
Recent performances include the Australian premiere of Kashchey the Immortal by Rimsky-Korsakov at the Melbourne Recital Centre, masterclasses in Russian repertoire for singers with contralto Liane Keegan (XLArts), and performances of Bach’s St John’s Passion, Rachmaninov Vespers, Die Fledermaus, and La Boheme. He also presented a paper at the 175th Anniversary Conference of Rimsky-Korsakov’s birth at the Rimsky-Korsakov Museum-Apartment in St Petersburg as well as a performance of Mozart and Haydn piano concertos in Russia with soloist Lyudmila Madonova. In October he performed a concert of Rimsky-Korsakov, Borodin, and Mozart with the National Capital Orchestra, Canberra in the presence of the Ambassador of Russia, Alexey Pavlovsky.
In 2020 he will conduct the Voices of St Petersburg gala concerts in Sydney and Melbourne, a tour in Russia with the Melbourne Chamber Choir as well as take masterclasses for XL Arts and a conducting summer school with MTO.