He succeeds conductor Myron Michailidis in the role, who has directed the orchestra since 2018.
Prior was selected from 111 applicants for the position throughout Germany and abroad — he was chosen based on his spirited conducting style and open-mindedness.
Chief conductor of Canada's Edmonton Symphony Orchestra since their 2018-19 season, his other conducting engagements include the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, Bavarian State Orchestra, Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Orchestra, and the Royal Philharmonie Orchestra, among others.
A graduate of the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, Prior was a conducting fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and Aspen Music Festival. His mentors have included Thomas Dausgaard, Robert Spano, Michael Tilson Thomas, Andrew Manze, and Nicholas McGegan.
In theatre, his conducting repertoire includes "Carmen," "La Traviata," and "Mirandolina," all performed with acclaimed orchestras.
Also a composer, Prior’s ballet "Mowgli" was commissioned by the Moscow State Ballet and premiered in 2008 at the Kremlin Theatre. In 2020, his opera "Swan Song" premiered in Canada.
"We are looking forward to the coming period and are convinced that the Erfurt Philharmonic Orchestra can develop further with Mr. Prior at its helm and that a broad target group will be enthusiastic about classical music," said general director of Theater Erfurt Guy Montavon in a statement.
“Alexander Prior is an exceptional talent," said the Head of the Department of Culture, Dr. Tobias Knoblich. It is a great pleasure for us to be able to win him over to Erfurt. An absolute stroke of luck for the Philharmonic Orchestra and for the entire city."