Conrad van Alphen

Spontaneous leadership, exceptional sensitivity as well as insight in abundance.

Mendelssohn Symphony no.3

Conrad van Alphen has the knack to surprise with fresh interpretations of the standard repertoire and making those works speak with a voice reaching their core with both a spiritual and physical dimension. In works by Mendelssohn and Schumann there was spontaneous leadership, often exceptional sensitivity as well as insight in abundance.

The JPO, an orchestra who in recent years had to work through a traumatic past, is securely on a healing path when nurtured by a conductor of this stature.

In the Mendellsohns Symphony No.3 in A minor, Opus 56 – Scottish the orchestra thrived in a naturally paced performance that was never pressed too hard. This work, arguably Mendelssohn’s greatest symphony, does only come off well when a conductor sticks to the basic tempos as indicated in the score.

This Van Alphen did throughout his reading of it. In the introduction the mood was at once positive and purposeful, and the music moved forward with a strong cumulative feeling. In the Allegro proper, the un poco agitato was faithfully observed. Throughout the performance there was precise attack as well as quite marked, but natural sounding fluctuations of tempo.

After the firmly characterised middle movements, with an Adagio which was adorned by a most tender, lovingly shaped phrasing, it was especially in the handling of the coda, marked Allegro maestoso assai, where not a trace of Victorian pompousness could be found, but rather a glorious, jubilant exultation.

Van Alphen captured Vaughan Williams’ orchestrational palette in very satisfying fashion

Vaughan Williams Symphony no 2

An evocative tone Poem. I give conductor Van Alphen full credit for a fluent reading which captured Vaughan Williams’ orchestrational palette in very satisfying fashion. The highpoint of this reading was the reflective Lento, a movement described as depicting “Bloomsbury Square on a November afternoon”

Van Alphen’s musical magic

“Pretoria-born Conrad van Alphen developed into a conductor whom musicians adore and with whom they feel artistically safe. He is someone who combines a relaxed approach with intrinsic discipline, but also reflects an ingrained, stylistically justified expressiveness that has become the core of his music-making”

Die “Bochumer” und ihr kundiger Dirigent wussten alle Aspekte gültig und fesselnd zu vermitteln

Bochumer Symphoniker & Alban Gerhardt

…. Nicht weniger begeistert als die Zuhörer waren die Mitglieder der Bochumer Symphoniker, die ihren Solisten mit Hingabe (Soloflöte in den Rokoko-Variationen) begleiteten. Sie wurden an diesem Abend von Conrad van Alphen geleitet, der unaufgeregt und überlegen mit sparsamer Zeichengebung führte…..

…Krönender sinfonischer Abschluss des Abends war die “große” Sinfonie Nr. 40 g-Moll KV 550, die zusammen mit der Es-Dur-Sinfonie (KV 543) und der “Jupiter”-Sinfonie (KV 551) den Höhepunkt des sinfonischen Schaffens von Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart bildet. In diesem singulären Werk stehen Affekte von Unruhe, Klage und Verzweiflung neben “schönen” Passagen, wie man sie von Mozart gewohnt ist. Die “Bochumer” und ihr kundiger Dirigent wussten alle diese Aspekte gültig und fesselnd zu vermitteln – besonders eindrücklich die Seufzermotive im zweiten Satz, die wenig später in die “Bildnisarie” (Zauberflöte) einfließen sollten. Das Auditorium war begeistert und applaudierte ausdauernd.
Heide Oehmen – Rheinische Post

Van Alphen’s alert energy and awareness were in-suppressible

Dvorak Symphony no.7

Van Alphen’s alert energy and awareness were in-suppressible, achieving a masterful blend of syncopation between parts. Van Alphen demonstrated the answer to a fundamental question – What really is conducting? What’s it for? Everything is written in the music, accelerandi, diminuendi, fortissimo, piano, why a conductor? With only minimal tempo indication, his movements for the most part convey his interpretation of nuance, flavour, texture, subtle changes of crispness or sweetness that could never be included in a score. Although the composer has long left this world, I found this performance fresh and original, and very much alive.
Andy Wilding (#ClassicalReview)

Shostakovich Kammersinfonie Op.110a has been over-recorded, but this account is one to reckon with

The Barshai arrangement has been used but Van Alphen’s interpretation is nothing if not personal. He secures aggression without loss of articulation in the Allegro, dispatching the Allegretto with a kee irony, the keeping the Largo in motion so its explosive outbursts and lamenting allusions are set in relief by a finale that brings the whole work fatalistically full circle.

Er führt stringent, kraftvoll und gleichzeitig einfühlsam

Shostakovich Symphony no. 9

Brandenburger Symphoniker brillieren im Theater!

Er führt stringent, kraftvoll und gleichzeitig einfühlsam. Gastdirigent Conrad van Alphen widmet sich seiner Aufgabe mit Leib und Seele. Mit sichtlicher Spielfreude und äußerst präzise folgten die Brandenburger Symphoniker seinem Dirigat und bescherten dem Publikum am Wochenende im voll besetzten großen Saal des Brandenburger Theaters ein aufregendes Konzerterlebnis.

Mit lang anhaltendem, begeisterten Applaus bedankte sich das Brandenburger Publikum für ein herausragendes Konzert.
Ann Brünink – Markische Allgemeine

“What a lovely sound they produce”

“What a lovely sound they produce. Listen to the warm glow given off in the opening Moderato movement of the Dovrák”
Andrew Farach-Colton – Gramophone Magazine