A conductor with family ties to Naples back to his childhood years, Alexander Shelley, takes the helm as the next music director of the Naples Philharmonic beginning in 2024.
Artis–Naples Board Chair Lois D. Juliber and CEO and President Kathleen van Bergen made the announcement today. Shelley will become artistic and music director for Artis–Naples, where the philharmonic is based, in 2024. He begins an affiliation immediately as music director designate.
In his role, Shelley will provide artistic leadership for the Naples Philharmonic, as well as the entire organization for a four-year term. He succeeds Andrey Boreyko, whose tenure concluded in 2022.
This appointment marks the conductor’s first titled position in the U.S. In addition to his role at Artis–Naples, Shelley will remain music director of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, Canada, and principal associate conductor of London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, a position he has held since 2015.
In a prepared statement, Shelley praised the organization he is joining: “The spirit of the orchestra is infectious in its passion and musicianship, the administrative and artistic leadership inspirational, and the community fully engaged in cementing Artis–Naples as a Floridian and national hub for the arts in the 21st century. I feel humbled and privileged to be assuming artistic leadership for this forward-looking organization and cannot wait to get started.”
“I have admired Alexander Shelley’s work not just as a musician, but as a creative leader who understands the role that the arts can play in the daily lives of a community,” Artis–Naples CEO and President Kathleen van Bergen said on the appointment.
According to the release, Shelley was unanimously selected on four qualifications, including inspiration and leadership from the podium, confidence in the future role of the orchestra, value placed on the relationship between an arts organization and its community and innovative approach to multidisciplinary programming.
He has conducted in Naples twice before in concerts headlined by Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde – An Orchestral Passion in February 2022 another featuring Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony in January 2023.
Alexander Shelley first began hearing about Naples when he was a tot, and his father, pianist Howard Shelley, came for guest artist appearances with the Naples Philharmonic. But he was never able to visit himself until he first came as guest conductor in January 2022.