Los Angeles-born conductor Elias Peter Brown began his studies of conducting at age 17 in St. Petersburg, Russia. After graduating with honors from Yale University and the Royal Academy of Music, he won First Prize at the Korean International Conducting Competition in 2021, also taking the Orchestra Award and being appointed Assistant Conductor of the KNSO beginning in 2022. He also recently became a laureate of the Khachaturian International Conducting Competition in 2021, receiving Third Prize, and took Second Prize in the inaugural Lake Como Conducting Competition. Since 2022, Brown is a scholarship holder of the German Conductor's Forum (Forum Dirigieren).
Brown has led the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Orchester der Komischen Oper Berlin, Orchestra Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Armenian State Symphony Orchestra, Magdeburgische Philharmonie, Philharmonie Sudwestfalen, Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester, Neubrandenburger Philharmonie, Ensemble MusikFabrik, Zafraan Ensemble, Divertimento Ensemble, Yale Symphony Orchestra, Klaipeda Chamber Orchestra, and St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic, amongst others. Forthcoming appearances in 2022/23 include Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen, Gyeonggi Philharmonic Orchestra, North Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, and Lake Como Philharmonic Orchestra, alongside his work as Assistant Conductor at the Korean National Symphony Orchestra.
Brown works actively as a conductor, composer, improviser, and educator to create thought-provoking musical programs in and out of the concert hall. Other recent work has included CAVE, a site-specific performance in the Brunel Museum based on Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, named official selection of the Prague Quadrennial 2019; and less than a grain of dust, a program of music spanning 800 years commissioned as a musical response to the ground-breaking “Lumia” exhibition for the Yale University Art Gallery.
As an assistant, he has prepared orchestras for Oliver Knussen, Marin Alsop, Robert Treviño, Sir Mark Elder, Edward Gardiner, Jac van Steen, and Andreas Stoehr. Also an accomplished trumpet player, Elias has performed as a soloist at Carnegie Hall, and principal trumpet at Chicago Symphony Hall, The Kennedy Center, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Mariinsky Theatre, and Moscow's Tchaikovsky Hall. He's had the pleasure of sharing the stage with such esteemed conductors and soloists as Valery Gergiev, David Robertson, Joshua Bell, and Robert Chen, as well as collaborating with renowned jazz musicians T.S. Monk, Bob Mintzer, Bobby Shew, Takuya Kuroda, and Wayne Bergeron.
In addition to a busy performance career, Elias remains active as a composer — his work has recently been heard at the ICA in London in collaboration with choreographer Bakani Pick-Up, and performed by Twenty Fingers Duo at the Contemporary Art Centre, Lithuania. Deeply passionate about arts education, he has worked as a teaching artist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, as a guest conductor at Junior Royal Academy of Music, and as a mentor for the art and community-building project ‘Gakko’ in Japan and France.
His principal teachers have been Sian Edwards, Daniel Boico, and he has received mentorship from Gerard McBurney, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Du Yun. His master's thesis, "Spacing, Placing, Making Kin: Towards a Musical Curatorship," drew extensively on literature from the field of curatorial studies to theorize and define pedagogical, discursive, and dialogical modes of concert curation (text available upon request).
In October 2021, he commenced advanced studies with Steven Sloane and Harry Curtis at Universität der Künste, Berlin.
Photograph by Lusi Sargsyan