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Alexander Gibson (1926 - 1995)


Alexander Gibson studied the piano at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and music at the University of Glasgow. Having served in the army with the Royal Signals Corps between 1944 and 1948, he went on to win a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London where he studied conducting with Richard Austin. Gibson subsequently studied with Igor Markevitch at the Salzburg Mozarteum and with Paul van Kempen at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena and took second prize in the first Besançon International Conducting Competition, held in 1951. Soon after he was engaged as a répétiteur at Sadler’s Wells Opera Company and made his professional conducting debut there in 1952 with Smetana’s The Bartered Bride. He then worked as assistant conductor with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra from 1952 to 1954, a key training ground for many British conductors of calibre, returning to Sadler’s Wells as a staff conductor in 1954. His Covent Garden debut came in 1957, conducting Puccini’s Tosca with Zinka Milanov, Franco Corelli and Gian-Giacomo Guelfi. In the same year he was appointed chief conductor of Sadler’s Wells, remaining there for two years and conducting a wide repertoire that extended to twenty-six different works.

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