1.Alexander is the son of celebrated pianists Howard Shelley and Hilary Macnamara and began playing the piano as a toddler, later also taking up the cello. He continued his cello studies with Johannes Goritzki in Düsseldorf before going on to study conducting.
2.In 2005 Alexander garnered widespread attention when he was unanimously awarded first prize at the 2005 Leeds Conductors’ Competition, and hailed as ‘the most exciting and gifted young conductor to have taken this highly prestigious award.’
3. At the age of just 29, Alexander became the youngest ever Chief Conductor of the Nuremberg Symphony. Press and audiences alike hailed this as a golden era for the orchestra, a time which transformed the ensemble’s playing, education work and international reputation, including tours to Italy, Belgium, China and a re-invitation to the Musikverein in Vienna. His final open air concert as Chief Conductor of Nuremberg Symphony was attended by 80,000 people!
4.Alexander is passionate about encouraging the next generation and in 2016 was awarded the ECHO prize for his second Deutsche Grammophon recording, “Peter and the Wolf”, and both the ECHO and Deutsche Grunderpreis in his capacity as Artistic Director of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen’s “Zukunftslabor”, a visionary project of grass-roots engagement, which uses music as a source for social cohesion and integration. He’s also collaborated with many stars from outside the classical realm, including Diana Ross, William Orbit, KD Lang, the Söhne Mannheims & Xavier Naidoo and Diana Krall.
5.Alexander is married to personal trainer, fitness model and author Zoe Shelley (they met when Zoe was a member of Britain’s National Youth Orchestra and Alexander was attending rehearsals as a young assistant to Yan Pascal Tortelier). Together they have two sons and the family lives between Canada and London.