Alexander Baillie is internationally recognised as one of the finest cellists of his generation. He began playing the cello at the comparatively late age of twelve having been directly inspired by the late Jacqueline du Pré. He went on to study at London's Royal College of Music with Joan Dickson and Anna Shuttleworth and with André Navarra in Vienna.
Appearances with British orchestras have included the Elgar Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra under Andrew Litton, the Schumann Concerto with the BBC Symphony under Marek Janowski at the Proms, the Walton Concerto under the late Sir Alexander Gibson with the Royal Philharmonic, the Dvorak Concerto with the City of Birmingham Symphony under Sir Simon Rattle. He has also directed and performed the Haydn and Boccherini concertos with the English Chamber Orchestra.
Alexander Baillie's contribution to contemporary music has seen the Canadian premieres of Penderecki's 2nd Cello Concerto in 1992 and the H.K. Gruber Concerto in Winnipeg, and most recently Andrew MacDonald's new concerto (commissioned by the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra). He has performed at the BBC Proms, premiering Colin Matthew's Concerto in 1984, in 1988 Henze's "Sieben Liebeslieder" under the composer's direction, in 1989 Takemitsu's "Orion and Pleiades", the Delius and Schumann Concertos and in Beethoven's Triple Concerto.
Alexander Baillie's recent engagements have included touring the Elgar Concerto in Germany, concerts at the Royal Palace in Oman, Shostakovich Cello Concerto No2 in Boston under Benjamin Zander, and Haydn's C Major under John Eliot Gardiner, recitals at the Wigmore Hall, the European premiere of George Lloyd's recently discovered cello concerto, the premiere of Stephen Watson's new concerto with the Hallé, performances in the 4nd International Festival au Cote des Isles, France and touring with the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland..
His recordings include Elgar's Concerto on Conifer, the Tippett Triple Concerto on Nimbus with Sir Michael Tippett conducting, and the recently released Gordon Crosse Concerto with the BBC Symphony and Martyn Brabbins on the N.M.C. label. His recordings of the Britten Cello Suites and the Sonata achieved the highest acclaim in the New York press. "Many other cellists have made a strong claim on this repertory (Britten's Suites for Cello). Perhaps the most successful is Alexander Baillie." New York Times
2005 saw the composition of two unusual and major new works for the duo in which Baillie plays with pianist James Lisney. Jan Vriend's "The Anatomy of Passion" received its World premiere at London's Wigmore Hall in December. A substantial work comprising a half hour of technically and emotionally challenging bravura expressing the composer's passion and verification of his roots and sources of inspiration. By way of complete contrast Thomas Schmidt-Kowalski's "Atlantis" sonata, the third of his three cello sonatas so far is a work of disarming and blissful lyriscism. A stream of ecstatic melody propels this unashamedly romantic evocation of the legend of Atlantis and its message of purification. Atlantis receives its British Premiere on 12 July 2006 at London's Purcell Room.
Later in the year, recordings of the three sonatas will be released on the newly created Woodhouse record label.
Shortly to be on general release is the film "DVORAK...WHO? By Jan Harlan which features Baillie playing the concerto and working with young musicians of the European Youth Philharmonic Orchestra. The film has so far been most warmly received and singled out for its transparent portrayal of what can be achieved by way of communication through the performance of music.
In December together with his students from the Bremen Hochschule ("CelloSoundBremen") he will take part in the ninth Profil Intermedia Festival. The subject is the language of communication.
This autumn sees the launch in London and simultaneously in Bremen and Barcelona of "The Red Hedgehog" This is a chain of "Music Café" relaxed-ambience-venues. Red Hedgehog was the tavern in Vienna frequented by Brahms. Music is heard in a Hauskonzert atmosphere; concert performances but informal between "sets" Alexander Baillie is Professor of Cello at the Bremen Hochschule für Künste and Guest Visiting Professor at the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne.