Alexandre Da Costa

Violin, Conductor

SONY Classical artist and JUNO Award-winner, violinist Alexandre Da Costa was born in Montréal, Québec. Among his many accolades, Da Costa counts the prestigious Virginia-Parker Prize, one of Canada’s highest cultural distinctions, the Sylva Gelber Foundation Award from the Canada Council for the Arts, and first prize in the International Violin Competition Pablo Sarasate.

Since becoming Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Orchestre Philharmonique du Québec (previously Orchestre Symphonique de Longueuil (OSDL)) in Montréal in 2019, Da Costa’s multi-dimensional artistic vision has brought him increasing renown as a conductor, often directing from the violin, and including the orchestra’s successful, first, six-city tour of South America in 2022. Notable for his compassion and drive, during the COVID-19 pandemic Da Costa lead the orchestra to tour locally and regionally, bringing music and warmth to hospitals and aged care homes in Canada, and galvanized support for artists in collaboration with leading Canadian music icons. Accepting a five-year extension of his contract, Da Costa will remain at the helm of the Quebec Philharmonic Orchestra through to the 2028-2029 season, while also retaining Artistic Directorship of the annual Stradivaria Festival (Québec). Da Costa is also the newly appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Sinaloa Symphony Orchestra of the Arts in Mexico.

As violin soloist, Da Costa has performed in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia with the world’s leading orchestras including London’s Royal Philharmonic, the Berlin, Royal Seville, Montreal and Toronto Symphony Orchestras, National Orchestra of Argentina under conductors such as Lorin Maazel, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Keri-Lynn Wilson, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Leonard Slatkin, Vasily Petrenko, Matthias Bamert, Alondra de la Parra, and Johannes Wildner. Da Costa has given world premieres of works by Elliott Carter, Michael Daugherty (for which he won the 2012 JUNO award), Lorenzo Palomo, Paul Sarcich, Jean Lesage and Airat Ichmouratov.

As a recording artist, he has made 25 albums with Sony Classical, Warner Classics, JVC/Victor, Naxos, Acacia Classics/Universal, ATMA, XXI-21 and Octave/Universal, among them the world premiere recordings of the violin concertos by Portuguese composers Luis de Freitas Branco and Armando José Fernandes. The Washington Post selected his recording of the Beethoven concerto with Klezmer cadenzas by A. Ichmouratov as one the ‘Best CDs of the Year’ in 2013. In 2019, SONY Classical released Da Costa’s recording of works by Richard and Siegfried Wagner with Staatskapelle Halle and conductor Josep Caballé-Domenech, following the success of his album, ‘Stradivarius at the Opera’ with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, which he directed from the violin.

Recent engagements include as violin soloist with the Royal Philharmonic as soloist in a concert for Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in 2022, Montreal Symphony Orchestra (Canada), Vienna Symphony Orchestra (Austria), Colorado Philharmonic Orchestra (USA) and Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra (Columbia) with cond. Josep Caballé-Domenech, Royal Seville Symphony Orchestra conducted by John Axelrod playing S. Wagner’s violin concerto, McGill Chamber Orchestra (Montréal), Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (cond. Keri-Lynn Wilson), and the Toronto Sinfonia.

In Canada, Da Costa continues to enjoy a full season of performances as soloist and conductor with the Québec Philharmonic, including in projects with some of Canada’s leading vocalists; touring and recording with pianist Olga Kern, and performances in Spain, at Musique et Autres Mondes Festival (Ottawa), Virginia Arts Festival (USA), and more. Da Costa’s ground-breaking concept show, ‘Stradivarius BaROCK’ toured successfully in 2021-22 in North America with its sights firmly set on the ‘crossover’ market, bringing classical music into the worlds of jazz, rock and pop, directing from the violin; this theme continues with Da Costa’s new ‘Celine Dion Symphonic’ show with full symphony orchestra, devised with oversight and approval from the Quebecer megastar and her team, and touring in 2024/25.

Touring annually in Australia until the pandemic, highlights have included three concerts as soloist with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra (cond. Asher Fisch), in recital for Musica Viva Australia and at Huntington Estate Music Festival, Canberra International Music Festival, touring for Selby & Friends, as soloist with Willoughby Symphony Orchestra (cond. Nicholas Milton), Zelman Symphony Orchestra (cond. Rick Prakhoff), at City Recital Hall Angel Place, with the Orava Quartet at the Sydney Opera House, Port Fairy Spring Music Festival and Darwin Entertainment Centre. 2023 marked a return tour to Australia including the opening concerts for Zelman Symphony Orchestra’s 90th anniversary season at Melbourne Recital Centre and Daylesford Town Hall (VIC), for Live at Lunch at the Concourse, with Penrith Youth Orchestra at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, alongside several regional concerts and violin masterclasses.

Da Costa is also active as a chamber musician, performing alongside acclaimed chamber musicians such as Menahem Pressler, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Matt Haimowitz and Hélène Mercier. A frequent guest of chamber music festivals, recent appearances include Ottawa Chamber Fest, Musique et Autres Mondes, Canberra International Music Festival, Port Fairy Spring Music Festival and more. His live performance broadcasts have aired on the BBC, WestDeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), CBC, NPR, ORF, ABC Classic FM and more.

Da Costa gives violin masterclasses around the world, including at Royal Northern College of Music (UK), Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and the Superior Conservatories of Montreal, Madrid, and Shanghai. He served as Head of Strings at Edith Cowan University (WAAPA, Perth, Australia) from 2014 – 2018, and consultant for the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, and has been a guest speaker for TEDx. He plays the ‘Deveault’ (ex-Ferraresi) Stradivarius of 1701.

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Latest News

Da Costa adds new role as Principal Guest Conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica Sinaloa de las Artes (OSSLA) in Mexico, read a review here.

Orchestre Symphonique de Longueuil (OSDL) becomes the Orchestre Philharmonique du Québec, reflecting the its new, modern vision and international outlook:

Fine Music: In Conversation with Simon Moore, interview with Alexandre Da Costa (March 2023): listen here on Spotify.

Alexandre Da Costa’s role as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of Orchestre Symphonique De Longueuil extended to 2029.

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