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 became a laureate of the Khachaturian International Conducting Competition in 2021, receiving Third Prize. He also recently took Second Prize in the inaugural Lake Como Conducting Competition. Brown has led the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Berliner Symphoniker, Ensemble MusikFabrik, Ensemble Modern, Zafraan Ensemble, Divertimento Ensemble, Yale Symphony Orchestra, Klaipeda Chamber Orchestra, and St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic.
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 performed by Twentyfingers Duo (Lithuania) and workshopped with choreographer Bakani Pick-Up and National Dance Company Wales. 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 are Sian Edwards and Daniel Boico, and he has received mentorship from Gerard McBurney, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Mark Stringer, and Bas Wiegers. 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 will commence advanced studies with Steven Sloane and Harry Curtis at Universität der Künste, Berlin.
Photograph by Lusi Sargsyan