Press

“With its original score (opera “Marriage” by Mussorgsky) revamped for Edinburgh by Nagovitsyn, and conducted by Alexander Polianchko, musically it was totally fascinating, demotic, conversational, mercurial, free of formal songs and prophetic of later music-theatre.”

Christopher Grier, “The Scotsman”,

“L’Esperienza dello studio della direzione d’orchestra, della partitura e musicale in genere con il Maestro Alexander Polianichko, è una occasione formativa di autentico e raro valore che si devono al suo insegnamento generoso, non solo frutto delle risorse di una grande esperienza ma anche grazie a sue personali doti di intuito, empatia ed attenta indagine, con le quali riesce a stimolare tutte le molteplici necessità, valorizzando ogni importante aspetto di questo studio. Un proficuo apprendimento durante la lezione è favorito da una flessibile inventiva e un costruttivo senso della didattica nonché dalla sua ampia comunicazione. Le lezioni con lui sono state per me una esperienza preziosa di cui sarò sempre grato.”

Stefano Severini, pianist and conductor

«Close your eyes and concentrate on the singing and on the ENO’s fine orchestral playing under Alexander Polianichko. It’s a feast for the ears.»

Clive Hirschhorn, Sunday Express 10/4/94

«… The best contribution of all comes from Alexander Poianichko, here making his London debute. He has an evidently profound feeling for the colour and rhythm of this score… His reading has great breadth and vigour.»

Paul Drivor , «Opera check» ST 10/4/94

«Alexander Polianichko… clearly has the music in his bones. He caught its ebb and flow, gave life to individual melodies and phrases while never losing momentum, witness the idiomatic way the celli leant into the melody at the start of the duel scene. There was a finely-judged urgency to Lensky’s aria; the variouse dances had a appropriate spring in the heel. A transformed ENO orchestra brought alive the score with glowing and impassioned playing.»

David Blewitt, «The stage» 21/4/94

«…an unqualified success… Here (ENO’s) the production is enhanced by conductor Alexander Polianichko of Kirov Opera, who conducts with both a passion for the music and a sympathy for the opera’s protagonists.»

Michael Darvell, «What’s on», «Classical music» 14/4/94

«Appropriately for this great Russia opera, Alexander Polianichko, a permanent conductor with the Kirov Opera, made his London debut. He handled an an-form ENO orchestra with assurance and panache.»

Roger Watkins, «Express» 8/4/94

…the Kirov orchestra under Alexander Polianichko was impeccable. It is into this background that one fits the individuals.” “Kirov Opera present a beautiful and excellently-sung “Betrothal”,

Anglo–Portoguegis news, 12.03.1998

“The staging (of Mavra) by Carlos Cytrynowski and Humbert Camerlo whisks merrily through the rooms of a house – and a quartet of Russian singers (led by Olga Guriakova as the heroine, Parasha) bring an authentic ring to the score, admirably conducted by Alexander Polianichko. Polianichko also makes great sense of that “ballet with songs,” The Seven Deadly Sins.”

Opera de Paris, Homage to Boris Kochno, December 2001

“Accompanying last night’s performance, with real brio and clarity, was the Orchestra de l’Opera National de Paris, under the dirction of Alexandre Polianichko.”

Paris Opera Ballet – Dance Insider, 11.12.2001 by Paul Ben-Itzak

“…it was Alexander Polianichko with a blustery, stormy, sometimes overwhelming reading.., but it all sounded involved and passionate… not a bad deal for Puccini.”

Turandot Rides Again, Thu, 28 Nov 2002 by Janos Gereben

“After rising our expectations in its ominous introduction conductor Alexander Polianichko launched into the opening allegro of Tchaikovsky’s Francesca da Rimini like a man possessed, its very Russian angst clearly pumping through his veins. He drew every last drop of both excitement and tenderness from this sumptuous score and the players responded magnificently. Colin Honour’s melting clarinet solo was particularly outstanding. This a one was almost enough to send us home happy at last night’s concert, but even better was to come – an enthralling account of Shostakovich’s hour-long Eighth Symphony. Commentators have laboured long if inconclusively (as with so many of his other works) to penetrate its «meaning»» for myself, I’m happy to consider it in purely abstract terms. It’s a colossal piece. Polianichko unfolded the extended first movement’s typically bleak and brooding textures with unfailing skill, unleashed its overpowering climax with savage brutality and judged its piquant yet poignant conclusion to perfection. The two contrasted scherzos were as brash and brilliant as one could wish; the haunting variations of the slow movement passacaglia shaped with unerring emotions brought to a most delicate and wistful conclusion. A triumph for Polianichko, clearly a name to watch: his every gesture signals a wealth of meaning to orchestra and audience alike. But a triumph too for the orchestra; especially for the strings (once again «punching above their weight») – and equally for its uniformly distinguished principals.

Huddersfield Town By ADRIAN SMITH

Andrey Boreyko’s indisposition robbed Manchester of the chance to see a reputed rising star (he is currently principal conductor designate of the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra). But it did provide a welcome second chance to take the measure of another hugely talented Russian, Alexander Polianichko, who impressed in Liverpool a few weeks ago and who was in Cardiff working on Welsh National Opera’s Hansel and Gretel. In another all-Russian programme, which Polianichko took over unchanged, all he could do was confirm his authority in home repertoire. But that is saying a good deal when the range was from three comparatively little-known Liadov tone poems, through Borodin’s picture-postcard Polovtsian Dances and four histrionic excerpts from Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, to Scriabin’s hypertrophic Poem of Ecstasy. Stylistically, expressively and technically, Polianichko never put a foot wrong. Liadov’s place in the history books is assured by the fact that it was his legendary laziness that led to the commission for The Firebird passing to Stravinsky. But when he knuckled down, he could produce orchestral portraits of the witch Baba-Yaga, the domestic spirits Kikimora and The Enchanted Lake that are almost as compelling as the tone poem of his teacher Rimsky-Korsakov. In all three, Polianichko supplied sure guidance, and the Halle responded with idiomatic colours. In the Polovtsian Dances the Halle choir came close to a convincing Russia wildness and sensuality than its Liverpool counterpart. But this was a mere curtain-raiser to John Tomlinson’s familiar, yet always riveting assumption of the role of opera’s most famous tortured tsar. Even in dinner jacket on the concert platform, Tomlinson is somehow a more complete Godunov than most others in full regalia on the stage. The hallucination and death scene were so completely in character here that it would hardly have been surprising had he demolished the front desks of strings or swept the conductor off the podium.
By comparison, the Poem of Ecstasy is an irredeemably repellent piece of pseudo-philosophical bombast. But after some less than ideally tuned opening phrases the Halle at last gave it their all, and Polianichko steered them unerringly through its flutterings and surgings towards the final preposterous affirmation.

DAVID FANNING, Daily Telegraph

“Alexander Polianichko… proved by his control of the huge orchestra in Scryabin’s Poem of Extasy, as
well as the Liadov pieces which filled up the all–Russian programme, that he is one of the most interesting young conductors.”

Robert Beale Manchester Evening News

“The cast is mainly exellent , and the conducting of Alexander Polianichko exudes his affection for the piece, right from the magical opening…”

Opera Old Hat, Michael Tanner

“Alexander Polianichko’s conducting captures all the sumptuousness of the score

The Daily Telegraph 16 March 2004

“Everythting works. Upshow is radiant; Alen profoundly moving; Peckova vibrant. The large cast functions as a superb ensamble. Alexander Polianichko’s conducting sparkles. I doubt that San Francisco Opera has ever been better.”

The Cunnig Little Vixen, SFO

“… a marvelously secure musical performance, with great conducting, and you have an evening of bliss… Alexander Polianichko mined every one of Janacek’s luscious melodies and startling orchestrations… SFO’s orchestra plays some of the most gorgeous orchestral music ever written with heavenly grace.”

The Cunnig Little Vixen, SFO Oakland tribune, 13 June 2004

“…Polianichko… shaped the score with a magnificent combination of translucence and rhythmic definitio… A large and practically flawless ensemble cast and the Opera Orchestra, brilliantly led by conductor Alexander Polianichko, combine to bring Janacek’s glistening score to life. The result is pure enchantment on every level, a theatrical feast for young and old alike.”

The Cunnig Little Vixen, SFO Chronical Music, 14 June 2004

“Musically and dramatically, Janácek’s fairy-tale opera was the high point of the year… The San Francisco Opera’s witty, tender and utterly magical production of “The Cunning Little Vixen” in June ranks as the summit of the year’s classical scene. In Daniel Slater’s colorful, dreamlike production, Janácek’s woodland fairy tale seemed more elusive and irresistible than ever, and a stellar cast led by Dawn Upshaw and Sir Thomas Allen under the baton of conductor Alexander Polianichko did full justice to this streamlined score.”

The Cunnig Little Vixen, SFO Classical Music, 26, December, 2004

“The large cast… could not have worked so seamlessly without conductor Alexander Polianichko’s deft shaping of the exquisite score…”

The Cunnig Little Vixen, SFO San Francisco Classical voice, 17 June, 2004

“In command of the Janácek idiom, the SF Opera’s conductor for The Cunning Little Vixen, Alexander Polianichko, led a compelling performance, the orchestra playing this difficult score handsomely…”

The Cunnig Little Vixen, SFO San Francisco Classical Voice, 11 June 2004

“From the moment Alexander Polianichko raises his baton the audience is spellbound with the glorious sound of the orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre playing Tchaikovsky’s most famous ballet score. The curtains open to reveal some of the greatest dancers in the world performing with superlative finesse. With a heritage of over 260 years and exceptional performances, the chance to see the Kirov is not one to be missed.”

Gavin Roebuck, TheStageonline

“…Having Alexander Polianichko in the pit and Tatiana Monogarova and Mariyanna Tarasova in the two main female roles guaranteed a wonderfully authentic Russian core. Yet the fact that the intensity of Tchaikovsky’s music was so grippingly sustained over three and a half hours was equally due to the highly focused ensemble performance from principals, chorus and orchestra alike.”

Mazeppa, Welsh National Opera The Guardian

“Welsh National Opera hits the bull’s-eye with a viscerally thrilling new production of Tchaikovsky’s Mazepa, a work increasingly recognised alongside Eugene Onegin and The Queen of Spades as one of his supreme achievements. Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier’s staging is straightforward and cogent, transposing Pushkin’s Byronic tale of love and revenge at the time of Peter the Great to a modern, war – torn Russian republic. The chorus and soloists give this rip-roaring melodrama everything they’ve got. Robert Hayward makes a dignified Mazepa, Gidon Saks an eloquent Kochubei, Hugh Smith a stentorian Andrei.” “…Marianna Tarasova is a mightily impressive Lyubov, and Tatiana Monogarova makes a glorious sound as the heroine Mariya, while the conductor Alexander Polianichko whips up a storm in the pit. A gripping yarn, with some glorious Slavic melodies, this Mazepa comes highly recommended.”

Welsh National Opera The Daily Telegraph

“With a Russian conductor and fine Russian female soloists, you can also be sure the angst comes from the collective heart of that long-suffering and profoundly musical nation. Yet another St Petersburg pupil of the late, great Ilya Musin, Alexander Polianichko draws rich and soaring detail from WNO’s fine house orchestra, with not a weak link in the cast.”

Mazeppa, Welsh National Opera The Observer

“It is hard to see why Mazepa is so irregularly revived. Tchaikovsky’s Pushkin-based historical tragedy, about a Ukrainian nationalist who destroys everyone in his quest for power, may lack the psychological hinterland of Eugene Onegin and The Queen of Spades, but it’s a wonderful study of power and it unfolds with ineluctable sweep. The music, from start to finish, is the most glorious distillation of old Russian song, draped in Tchaikovsky’s poetic colours and fused with romantic blood: the Act Two execution scene is one of the great moments in all lyric theatre.
Alexander Polianichko understands the idiom and draws fiery playing from the orchestra, and there are two other Russians in a cast good enough to make sense of the opera’s four meaty roles. Marianna Tarasova is spellbinding in Lyubov’s Act Two confrontation with Tatiana Monogarova’s Mariya, whose febrile acting is matched by her angelic singing. Robert Hayward’s silver-haired Mazepa humanises the tyrant and sings majestically. Much the same could be said of Gidon Saks as the stubborn Kochubei, especially in his final prayer. Hugh Smith is the stentorian Andrei. This is the best WNO show I have seen in years.”

Mazeppa, Welsh National Opera Financial Times

“…Marvelous performances from Gidon Saks as the noble Kochubei, Robert Hayward as the vindictive anti-hero, Tatiana Monogarova as the tragic Mariya and Hugh Smith as Andrei. Conductor Alexander Polianichko and the entire company reveal the opera’s greatness in what is a superb production.”

Mazeppa, Welsh National Opera The Stage

“…Polianichko’s idiomatic conducting makes this neglected masterpiece every bit as thrilling as it should be; the score contains some of Tchaikovsky’s darkest music, as well as one of his most haunting inspirations, the lullaby for the tragic heroine Maria that brings the opera to a quiet close.”

Mazeppa, Welsh National Opera The Sunday Telegraph,

“…this glorious score is magnificently played under Alexander Polianichko. Gidon Saks (Kochubei), Robert Hayward (Mazepa), Tatiana Monogarova (Mariya), Mariana Tarasova (Lyubov) and the chorus sing with passion and integrity.

Mazeppa, Welsh National Opera The Independent on Sunday

“Polianichko has long served as a house conductor at the Kirov Theater in St. Petersburg, where Tchaikovsky remains venerated. It was instructive to observe the maestro breathing new vitality into a familiar war horse to which he’s obviously joined at the soul… he conveyed his ideas to our orchestra without mannerism or vulgarity. His pacing was as firm as the sinewy Russian sound he drew from the CSO.”

January 12, 2008|By John von Rhein, Tribune music critic

“…Mariinsky (Kirov) conductor Alexander Polianichko drew exquisite playing from the Irish Chamber Orchestra… Mazdar’s brilliance was matched by the superb musicianship of all his colleagues”

Irish Chamber Orchestra Declan Town send The Examiner November 2008

“Alexander Polianichko is one of those very accomplished conductors who seems not to have quite achieved ‘star’ status but who can generally be relied upon (more than some such international ‘stars’) to articulate performances that have assurance, a clear sense of purpose and good orchestral balance.“

By Glyn Pursglove

“For a much simpler presentation, Redmoon actor Alex Balestrieri energetically narrated nine fragments from The Snow Maiden as adapted from Alexander Ostrovsky’s play by CSO Artistic Programming Advisor Gerard McBurney. He was given vibrant musical readings from Polianichko, who arrived in Chicago with a brand new feather in his cap. Polianichko was recently bestowed the title by President Dmitry Medvedev an “Honored Artist of Russia,” and he proved a worthy beneficiary of this award as this old Russian folklore teemed with abundant pictorial and narrative drama… In the melodramatic Andantino where the snow maiden is unsure of what lies in her heart, Polianichko provoked some of the most intoxicatingly beautiful string playing of the season.”

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

“As a matter of fact, Polianichko and the CSO got so much idiomatic zest and color from the eight selections that I wish he had room to include more of Tchaikovsky’s wonderful score. The orchestra gave the guest conductor red-blooded playing in selections from Tchaikovsky’s rarely heard incidental music to the play “The Snow Maiden.” It’s worth noting that earlier this week Russian President Dmitry Medvedev recognized Polianichko’s distinguished service to his nation’s music by awarding him the title Honored Artist of Russia.”

Chicago Tribune: December 18, 2009

“The last performance of Tchaikovsky’s The Tempest by the Chicago Symphony was over a century ago under the direction of Theodore Thomas, and while the work is relatively unknown, the style is familiar… All in all, The Tempest served as a fine way to open this program, and guest conductor Alexander Polianichko gave a compelling reading of the score, rich in orchestral colors and dramatic gestures. Polianichko elicited some passionate sounds from the ensemble in the middle section of the work, and then paced the tension as it led to the programmatic climax.”

CSO “Tales from Tchaikovsky, December 2009

“The CSO, conducted by Alexander Polianichko, played with color and panache…”

Chicago Sun-Times: December 19, 2009

“…The Russian Alexander Polianichko drew a surprisingly luscious performance from the Australian
Opera Orchestra for Manon Lescaut.“

Opera around the world Opera, October 2009

“The Opera Australia Chorus comprises superbly lively Puccini singers, and under conductor Alexander Polianichko the lush score (with many nods to Wagner’s love themes) is in exellent shape.”

Liverpool Leader, 27.07.2009

“Conductor Alexander Polianichko leads a sensuous reading of Puccini’s score, gaining in splendor as the evening progresses.”

The Opera Critic, July 2009

“Perhaps most valuable of the international recruits to the production was the conductor, Alexander Polianichko, who drew sound both delicate and passionate from Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.

Opera, December 2009

“A strong cast and a vigorous Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra under the flawless command of Russian conductor Alexander Polianichko, guarantee a memorable production of Tchaikovsky’ s Eugene Onegin.”

Theatreview, 21 September 2009

“Conductor Alexander Polianichko shapes Tchaikovsky’s brilliant score with outstanding ear for detail revealing its full dramatic potential. He was supported throughout by excellent work from Vector Wellington Orchestra.”

Manawatu Standard, 12 October 2009

“Conductor Alexander Polianichko creates a seamless connection between the Vector Wellington Orchestra in the pit and the performers on stage.”

Theatreview, 14 October 2009

“If there is plenty of mood and colour on-stage then there is also plenty coming from the orchestra pit. Bringing his experience from the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg Russian conductor Alexander Polianichko clearly knows this music well and is able to draw passionate playing from the Auckland Philharmonia who are on top form throughout the course of the evening.”

The Opera Critic, 17 September 2009

“That conductor, incidentally, was none other than Alexander Polianichko, who worked wonders with Manon Lescaut here (in Sydney) a couple of months ago and brought a similar brand of magic to Onegin.”

Prima la musica, 30 September 2009

“The scoring of the opera and the extensive choral writing are just two of the many glories of the piece, conducted with great understanding by Alexander Polianichko.”

NRB New Zealand Opera, 3 October 2009

“Finally, conductor Alexander Polianichko brought the spirit of the Mariinsky Theatre to the Aotea Centre, inspiring all under him to create an unmissable night at

NZ Herald, 19 September 2009

“The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra was superb in his supporting role, under the baton of Russian Conductor Alexander Polianichko, who works regularly at Mariinsky Theatre and with a formidable range of opera companies. The Orchestra’s playing has been particularly disciplined of late, and this performance was especially fine.”

Lumière Reader, reviewed by Samuel Holloway

“Presiding over this powerful realization is conductor Alexander Polianichko. With complete authority he draws increasingly taut playing from the Wellington Orchestra, crowning the production that does the near impossible – rivals last year’s unforgettable Jenufa.”

The Dominion Post, 12 October 2009

“Tsarina’s Slippers” at the Royal Opear House, Covernt Garden. Musically it all worked very well under the baton of Alexander Polianichko, who drew strong contributions from the wind section, and a very Russian sound from the orchestra.”

“Tsarina’s Slippers”/”Cherevichki” at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, December 2009

“Good tunes, though, I can promise. As Alexander Polianichko unveils a prelude as warm-hearted and homespun as anything Tchaikovsky has given us, there’s a momentary shiver of menace as the composer reminds us that there are supernatural forces at work this Christmas.”

“Tsarina’s Slippers”/”Cherevichki” at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, December 2009

“…the excellent performance from the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House under an enthusiastic Alexander Polianichko.”

“Tsarina’s Slippers”/”Cherevichki” at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, December 2009

“Conductor Alexander Polianichko offered quite a substantive reading that seemed infused with the correct style and which ultimately blossomed into spirited music-makin

“Tsarina’s Slippers”/”Cherevichki” at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, December 2009

“…the rustic immediacy of the music was vividly conveyed, while his handling of the ballet sequences in the third act served to point up their musical quality. If, on this first-night showing, this is not the opera Tchaikovsky would have us and, moreover, himself believe, it still has most of the attractions of a seasonal favourite.”

“Tsarina’s Slippers”/”Cherevichki” at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, December 2009

“Rusalka,” premiered in 1900, is a Romantic opera of the first order, and there is not one weak measure in the three hours that it takes to perform it. Russian conductor Alexander Polianichko is totally at home in Dvorak`s well-wrought score and extracts both heavily dramatic and delicately sensitive playing from the Colorado Symphony.”

Camera Classic Music Critic, 02.13.2011

“And while Tara Faircloth’s stage direction brought orderliness and intimacy to crowded scenes, conductor Alexander Polianichko coordinated every musical aspect of the masterpiece, drawing from the orchestra tight rhythms and ample space for Verdi’s soaring melodies to unfold.”

By SABINE KORTALSs and SPECIAL to the DENVER POST

“This was unquestionably the best all-round performance I have yet seen from Opera Holland Park, staging and musical performance alike often putting august metropolitan houses from around the world to shame. When musical direction has sometimes proved variable, in Alexander Polianichko, OHP had recruited a fine Tchaikovsky conductor. (His reading of Cherevichki at the Royal Opera house was the first time I encountered his work.) Polianichko clearly felt at ease with the score and communicated that easy freely. Tempi and transitions were all well handled, nothing especially drawing attention to itself, the drama progressing ‘naturally’ from the musical ebb and flow – though, as we all know, it takes a great deal of art to conceal art. This might not have been the searing drama I heard Daniel Barenboim bring to Tchaikovsky’s opera in Berlin, but it served the work very well.”

Eugene Onegin, Opera Holland Park, 31 July 2012