"[Strauss’ Death and Transfiguration] was something else — a carefully graded, magnificent journey through turbulence, sweet reminiscences, death and the beyond, with the full [London Symphony Orchestra] roaring or sighing, completely at Chauhan’s command."
– The Times
"On what has now happily become one of his regular visits to Glasgow, and to conduct the BBC Scottish, young Alpesh Chauhan was working with a programme that was right up his street. Britten’s Sinfonia da Requiem is a work he paired with Brahms’ German Requiem for one of his first concerts with the orchestra he directs in Parma, Italy, and the selection of movements from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet was the one he himself had made to conduct the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland … Chauhan’s hour-long pick of the Prokofiev is successful both as musical and dramatic narrative, and the players put a terrific ferocity into the Dance of the Knights. The thought occurred that just as the conductor’s career is moving at pace, a young violinist now playing professionally here could well have performed it with the youth orchestra just three and half years ago.”
The Herald (****) - December 2019
" ... Chauhan gets to the heart of this complex and tormented work [Beethoven Symphony No.9] while also transmitting the homogeneity and transparency of the musical texture. This is evident in the control of the dynamics, especially in the “pianissimo” section at the beginning with the sottovoce theme of the violins; a primary element that will then be amplified until the tumultuous crescendo “
Gazzetta di Parma - November 2019
“The great talent of this conductor and his ability to lead the orchestra has already been said many times. It only remains to be said that with each time Chauhan never ceases to amaze and one forgets that he is only 29 years old.
One striking thing of Alpesh Chauhan's vitality is his generous, dynamic and sympathetic gesture, capable of shaping the timbric material of the orchestra he has in front of him, returning a quick response in sound but measured and respectful of the score placed on the stand.”
Magazine Pragma - October 2019
"Chauhan's interpretative conception was characterised by the wide range of expression, the marked dynamic contrasts, the high emotional tension, as well as his emphatic directorial gesture."
GBOPERA Magazine - October 2019
"It is the Adagietto from Mahler’s Fifth Symphony that everyone knows from its screen soundtrack use, but the heart of its hour-and-a-quarter is the long central Scherzo. In a work resplendent in orchestral colour, it is sparklingly adorned and Chauhan made sure it really shone here ... The ensemble sound of the cellos, guest-led by Alice Neary, was particularly impressive. The fact that it is also Chauhan’s instrument may be no coincidence."
The Herald (****) - September 2019
"Who could deny Alpesh Chauhan the respect he deserves, standing in at short notice for the indisposed Thomas Dausgaard to conduct a live broadcast BBC SSO season opener dominated by Mahler’s Fifth Symphony. Touching 30, and displaying both the swagger of youth and a cool-headedness born of experience, his authority was impressive ... Reaching that cathartic point in the Mahler is, of course, a long and winding road. Chauhan’s view of that journey was relentless and representative of its extremes and excesses, perfectly legitimate in a symphony that wrestles furiously with light over darkness, repose over rage."
The Scotsman - September 2019
"A couple of things should be emphasized. The first is that the Director the Filarmonica Toscanini has reached new levels of unity, balance between the various sections, expressiveness, beauty of sound and even instrumental virtuosity (how wonderful the strings were last night in Prokofiev!) that were perhaps unthinkable before."
la Repubblica Parma - May 2019
“But the strongest impact of all came from the musical values of this presentation. Alpesh Chauhan conducted a searing, biting CBSO with an adept feel for the pacing of the drama, underlying all the tension, bringing irony to the folky passages and, thanks to excellent CCTV coverage, drawing from the singers a quite astounding perfection of ensemble secured at such distances.”
Opera Magazine - April 2019
"the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (boosted by an onstage brass band of Birmingham students) [gave] a magnificently taut and sometimes terrifying account of the score directed by the superb Alpesh Chauhan. With soloists sometimes singing 40m from the conductor, there’s not a moment of dodgy ensemble all night — a miracle of rapport.”
The Times (*****) - March 2019
"The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra are on the largest platform, their playing perfectly judged regarding balance with the voices ... [Alpesh Chauhan] does an excellent job, invigorating the score and holding his widely spaced forces together via TV screens.”
The Guardian (*****) - March 2019
“All praise, on that note, to the conductor Alpesh Chauhan and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra for providing firm anchorage, as well as thrilling exuberance, in what cannot be the easiest of environments.”
The Telegraph (****) - March 2019
“… under Alpesh Chauhan, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra swung between the circus-band screeches and oily pianissimos of Shostakovich’s score with the muscular grace of a Soviet gymnast … Every sterile, faddish debate in contemporary opera is confronted, answered and impatiently thrown aside. Singing in English? Obviously. Surtitles? Unnecessary. Diverse casting? Been doing it for years. New audiences? Look around you. Critics can bicker, but meanwhile BOC has a show to put on.”
The Spectator - March 2019
"Lady Macbeth, BOC’s 50th production, is perhaps its most brilliant so far, praise in itself given the company’s impressive track record … Relishing the music’s lurid and caressing colours, and on rigorous form, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra … The conductor Alpesh Chauhan, Birmingham-born and nurtured but with a fast-growing international reputation"
Observer (*****) - March 2019
“The full City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra [is] conducted by brilliant young Brum-born Alpesh Chauhan … [Chauhan wins] expressive beauties and the genuine pianissimos from the CBSO.”
The Arts Desk (*****) - March 2019
"Above the dance floor, members of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra sit behind glowing music stands, wringing out the rage and the lyricism in Shostakovich’s mercurial score. Calm and unhurried, conductor Alpesh Chauhan manages to keep them in touch with the singers even when they’re at the far end of the room.”
The Stage (*****) - March 2019
“… native Birminghamster Alpesh Chauhan ... marshalled his huge and far-flung forces, including a stage band drawn from Royal Birmingham Conservatoire students, with impressive sang-froid and thrilling musical results"
The Sunday Times - March 2019
"… the strongest impact of all comes from the sheer musical values of this presentation. Alpesh Chauhan conducts a searing, biting CBSO with an adept feel for pacing of the drama, underlining all the tension, bringing irony to the folky passages, and, thanks to excellent CCTV coverage, drawing from the singers a quite astounding perfection of ensemble secured at such distances."
Midlands Music Reviews - March 2019
"Excellent playing by the Orchestra del Teatro, directed with great personality by Alpesh Chauhan and an authentic tsunami of youth in all the talented performers..."
Gazzettino Sampierdarenese - January 2019
"...Chauhan leads them in Sibelius’s Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43 and it is a perfect programming choice for the occasion. Each section of the orchestra is showcased and every musician appears to be playing just for Chauhan. The energy of the music seems to travel from the orchestra up into the dais and through his body to be cast back out for them, and us, to enjoy."
The Wee Review - December 2018
"The SSO’s was on fine form here, and Chauhan’s reading was alive to the drama of the work, as at the Vivacissimo start of the third movement, but at its finest on the slower sections, like the majestic beginning of the second movement."
The Herald - December 2018
"The young British conductor obtained a precise response from the orchestral ensemble, offering an interpretation of considerable intensity and giving a good account of the different timbral and expressive nuances indicated in the score. With Chauhan in front, the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana once again demonstrated a sumptuousness and solidity in each of its sections that can still be described as the envy of the rest of Spanish opera houses."
Codalario - October 2018
"The young British conductor Alpesh Chauhan debuted before the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana, and did so with note. Announced as one of the current revelations in the world of conducting, the holder of the Philharmonic Arturo Toscanini of Parma knew how to transmit with fluidity the multiple changes of tempi of the labyrinthic score, obtaining at all times a clean and immediate response from the orchestra."
Doce Notas - October 2018
"In the Tonhalle conductor Alpesh Chauhan delivered a brilliant debut with the Symphoniker"
The Rheinische Post - April 2018
"At first glance, he may seem almost inconspicuous. But what Alpesh Chauhan, in his late twenties, unleashed on the podium of the Tonhalle together with the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker, is anything but average. His debut with a German symphony orchestra evoked rapturous enthusiasm."
Westdeutsche Zeitung - April 2018
"The Prince of Parma … Alpesh Chauhan has risen from Birmingham apprentice to international maestro in a dazzlingly short time, and is currently stealing the hearts of the Parmensi”
BBC Music Magazine - January 2018
"an orchestra playing to the very limits of its powers in the Sinfonia da Requiem, followed by a performance of Brahms’s German Requiem that’s unlike any I’ve heard before … There’s an edge to [The Filarmonica Toscanini] sound, as well as a sweetness; and each player shapes their melodies as if they’re singing ... [the chorus] charges the words of the Requiem with fiery intensity. And at the front, in his unshowy way, Chauhan is shaping their response: moving it forward, building Brahms’s long, soaring phrases into something bigger than the sum of their parts.”
Birmingham Post - December 2017
"Britten too is inclined to a sweet melody in his last movement of the Symphony: almost an illusion, which dissolves in an athon desolation. Chauhan has shown the dramatic force of this piece of music through the vividness of the initial part, the strength of the sound and that typical bitter-sweet colour that remains a distinctive trait of Britten’s music."
Gazzetta di Parma - November 2017
"The powerful inspiration and the nobility and intensity of the phrasing grabbed the attention of the Auditorium, a complex net of severity and harmonies that meet each other into a dark tale: the tragedy of life. The inquietude of fate is summed up in the rhombus of the timpani. At the conduction, the brilliant British Maestro, just 27 years old and already Principal Conductor of the Toscanini. A personality that seems born to conduct/lead!"
Libertà - November 2017
“[Alpesh] was at the top of his game directing the symphony; never flash in his audience-facing persona but athletically all over the orchestra from the podium, building the momentum of the work with fine dynamic control to a thrilling finish.”
The Herald - February 2017
“Brahms’s Haydn Variations and Richard Strauss’s Death and Transfiguration [offered] some useful indicators of Chauhan’s possible future direction. First, he has the ability … to make a musical phrase feel like articulate speech. Chauhan knows how to give his musicians the space in which to be themselves, and the LSO woodwinds repaid that freedom tenfold. Secondly, he made Strauss’s luscious surges of string tone sing from within. And thirdly, he perceives a symphonic work as a single arc, and can make moments of repose — even silence — feel like they’re moving forward. These qualities will surely deepen with time.”
The Spectator - February 2017
“Alpesh Chauhan had the full orchestra roaring and sighing completely at his command — it was genuinely exciting stuff … [he is] definitely a conductor on the move … [Strauss’ Death and Transfiguration] was something else — a carefully graded, magnificent journey through turbulence, sweet reminiscences, death and the beyond, with the full orchestra roaring or sighing, completely at Chauhan’s command.”
The Times - January 2017
“[It felt] like a showcase for the considerable conducting talents of Alpesh Chauhan … Chauhan is quite the spectacle, leaning into orchestra sections to draw the responses he wants, fluttering his fingers for trills of decoration, and even semi-toppling on one leg as if his energy has simply overcome him. Of his two breezy overtures – one for each half – his Mendelssohn Ruy Blas was all swashbuckling swagger, while his Rossini Italian Girl in Algiers sparkled with fire and wit, with BBC SSO principal oboe Stella McCracken nimble in its tricky passagework.”
The Scotsman - December 2016
"A young pianist and young conductor coming together to tackle a mighty concerto by a young composer who had not yet learned not to wear his heart on his sleeve ... We could have expected a barnstorming performance of Brahms' First Piano Concerto from Benjamin Grosvenor with Alpesh Chauhan conducting the CBSO. In the event what a packed matinee audience heard was a movingly thoughtful account of this wonderful piece, soloist and orchestra working as one to mould a glorious symphonic unity right from its shattering opening ... The cogency with which Chauhan had marshalled the orchestra in the Brahms surfaced again in a totally gripping account of Sibelius' Fifth Symphony. The orchestra certainly has a proud history with this tautly-wrought masterpiece, not least under the batons of Simon Rattle and Sakari Oramo, and here Chauhan proved himself more than worthy of the succession."
Birmingham Post (*****) - November 2016
“In works by Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn, [Chauhan] was clearly in charge, meticulously shaping dynamics and phrasing, establishing a quick rapport with the orchestra … Composed when he was 15, Mendelssohn revealed a remarkable talent for orchestration [in his Symphony No. 1] which Chauhan brought to full fruition. The conductor’s vivid gestures mirrored each phrase, nuance and crescendo. The energetic finale was most impressive, moments of breathlessness surfacing as the strings quieted to hushed pizzicato, the orchestra then rising to exuberance in a double fugue and triumphant finish.”
Arts Bham - November 2016
“It was a measure of Chauhan’s mastery of the score that the hesitations and shifts between subjects seemed entirely organic … Chauhan has already established himself as a more than promising talent … He brings a serious sense of purpose to his music-making and his gestures, strong but never flamboyant”
Bachtrack - October 2016
“[A] wonderful programme which was heartwarming confirmation of the conducting gifts of Alpesh Chauhan … [he] began with a loving, magical account of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel Overture. Wagner-warm horns and generous strings unfolded forest depths, and Chauhan’s gestures, well-judged and sometimes judiciously absent, were mightily effective in the expression of this ineluctably glorious piece. Even more glorious are the Four Last Songs of Richard Strauss, Chauhan drawing here full, rich orchestral tones, lines lithe and opulent.”
Birmingham Post - October 2016
"[Alpesh’s] command of orchestral sonority goes hand in hand with a seemingly instinctive ability to generate atmosphere – making every phrase and gesture an act of communication … Chauhan’s unfussy-looking beat left ample space for individual expression, and the players looked – and sounded – as if they were enjoying themselves: never a given in Bruckner … Chauhan has a real empathy with Bruckner’s expressive world, and the necessary long-range grasp of these huge musical structures. He has that rare ability, so vital in Bruckner, to make silence sound like part of a musical line.”
"Chauhan and the BBC Philharmonic rose to the challenge magnificently, giving us Haydn with period spring, lucidity and lightness, and a thundering Verdi Requiem".
Bachtrack - July 2016
"everything worked beautifully together, in a show that could fairly be called a triumph."
"When there is a genuine talent such as Alpesh Chauhan on the podium, an evening like this can turn into something to remember. Toscanini said that there are no good or bad orchestras, but good and bad managers. With Chauhan there to direct it, the Toscanini Philharmonic becomes a magnificent orchestra, even with amplified sound … The result was unexpected, surprising, dramatic and seductive together with moments of authentic poetry, and a rousing finale. Next, as an encore, a rapturous reading the first of Brahms’ Hungarian Dances."
Parma Repubblica - July 2016
"Chauhan’s unfussily precise direction (and a usefully eloquent left hand) consistently brought out the best from the CBSO players. Dvořák’s Othello Overture, with a wonderfully spacious opening and good ‘edge’ to the strings, had several fine touches in response to its narrative content; and the titular symphony of the programme – Mendelssohn’s Fourth, of course – was thrown off with supercharged energy, excitingly accurate string playing, and a finale that went at a terrific lick without dropping a stitch."
Birmingham Post - June 2016
"[Alpesh] is becoming a conductor of international stature now, and judging by the way he handled the CBSO in this concert, especially the string section, I wager that this twenty-six year old is destined for a great and glittering future."
Bachtrack - June 2016
“On the stage the British conductor Alpesh Chauhan, of Asian origins, knows how to get his audience involved. Thanks to his exceptional confidence, great elegance and powerful gestural expressiveness he could brilliantly highlight the Orchestra’s outstanding talent with passion and energy.”
"The cool approach is in evidence when I catch Chauhan in rehearsal after the interview, but it is also matched with an irrepressible energy. His hyperactive body buzzes from section to section. His instructions and descriptions come in an efficacious splurge of Italian and English ... Chauhan is no austere maestro".
"Chauhan is one of those conductors who makes every phrase and detail sound like it’s communicating something – and he possesses that magical, Beecham-like knack for making even rests sing ... A remarkable achievement from a young conductor of intelligence and courage – and musicianship enough to justify both.”
The Arts Desk - March 2016
"Chauhan, Vassallo and the Spillett team received the well-deserved standing ovation from many moved by the remarkable earthling performance.”
Bachtrack - March 2016
"I felt that Chauhan maintained a firm focus throughout. He built the music very well towards what was to be the composer’s last towering symphonic climax”.
Seen and Heard International - March 2016
"[Chauhan] exudes enthusiasm and pleasure, his hand movements crisp, articulate and decisive, his conducting style devoid of unnecessary drama."
Birmingham Press - March 2016
"Chauhan is big news. That was evident in much of what we heard on Friday evening ... Throughout the concert Chauhan was all over the musicians, cueing and cajoling, exercising dynamic control with precision that denied a short acquaintance, and making the most of a concert of large scale orchestral writing that gave ample opportunity for the young players to show what they can do."
Herald Scotland - February 2016
"Last year, Alpesh was called at the last minute to replace Kazushi Ono in a programme that included Schumann's Piano Concerto in A minor and Beethoven's Symphony No.3 'Eroica'. Chauhan, who had performed only a handful of concerts in Italy, seemed to be a phenomenon.Well, the revelation of a year ago was confirmed. [I had] never seen a man of such a young age hold the orchestra with such confidence and ease, for over an hour without ever dropping the energy, even for a moment, and with an unusual capacity for introspection and expression."
La Repubblica Parma - January 2016
"Alpesh Chauhan, the baton that breathes music”
Gazetta Di Parma - January 2016
"Such is [Alpesh's] impact that critics are tipping him as the ‘next big thing’ with comparisons being made to the young Sir Simon Rattle."
"Into it [Kodály’s Dances of Galánta] conductor Alpesh Chauhan poured flowing melody. The brisk sections tripped lightly along, with strongly swinging spurts of colour."
Kymen Sanomat - August 2015
"His accolades have arrived so young (he’s still only 25), and it’s a bit like the Simon Rattle story".
The Birmingham Post - June 2015
"Chauhan has absorbed much from Nelsons, notably his fluid and expressive beat, excellent eye contact with the players and an almost balletic body-language, all of which he employed to give a finely manicured account of Schubert’s ‘Unfinished’ Symphony ... Strauss’ Horn Concerto No. 2 was one of those rare occasions when the soloist - here, CBSO principal Elspeth Dutch, displaying effortless virtuosity and glowing elegance - was never overwhelmed. Nelsons would have been very proud.”
The Birmingham Post - June 2015
"Chauhan’s interpretation was, in many ways, fresh and invigorating. He plotted a swift course through the first movement, driving us headlong into the symphony’s turbulence without flinching. The now larger orchestra’s sound was full but also thrillingly muscular. Horns were admirable throughout, particularly in their repeated note ‘machine gun’ passages in the first and last movements. [...] I doubt I’ve heard the scherzo third movement more excitingly done, though: an ideal tempo, unfussy opening and fantastic timpani playing. Chauhan and the orchestra nicely realised the dance elements in the delightful second subject of the restless finale and brought the symphony to a close without holding back ... It was clear that he has developed quite a rapport with the players over this period, his gestures to them being lucid and communicative."
Bachtrack - June 2015
"To me [the CBSO is] family, it's the orchestra that I've grown up with, it's what I know a symphony orchestra to be. They're one of the world's best and 90% of what I know about working with orchestras comes from my time with the CBSO. I've been here for two years but to actually do a concert, everyone got really behind me."
The Birmingham Post - June 2015
"There cannot be the slightest doubt that in the young British conductor Alpesh Chauhan... the SSO has a real find on its hands."
The Herald - May 2015
"Sometimes, rarely, concert-goers experience the excitement of a discovery, a revelation. That happened last night at the Paganini Auditorium... where on the podium stood an unknown conductor of immense talent."
La Repubblica - March 2015
“...the conductor, Alpesh Chauhan, constructed a robust overall work. His collaboration with the orchestra passed in complete mutual understanding. The light, bright timbres were carefully controlled.”
Kymen Sanomat - January 2015
“The Overture, Scherzo And Finale is a challenge – not just to balance Schumann’s sound textures but to evoke feeling and shape from his periodically cryptic, but emotional, phrases. Chauhan was completely equal to this, with telling economy of gesture and drawing on the musicality of his players in effective partnership."
Manchester Evening News - June 2014