A violinist in the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra under Evgeny Mravinsky, Alexander Polianichko studied conducting with the legendary professor Ilya Musin at the Saint Petersburg State Conservatoire which he graduated with honors in June 1991.
In December 1988, he was awarded first prize in the Sixth All-Union Conductor’s Competition (previous first prize winners include names such as Evgeny Mravinsky and Yury Temirkanov) and the following year joined the Mariinsky (Kirov) Theatre. He has conducted the Mariinsky Opera and Ballet Theatre in China, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Israel, Japan, Monaco, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan and the United States.
His opera’s repertoire in Mariinsky Theatre ranges from Verdi, Wagner, Gounod, Leoncavallo, Puccini to the major operas of Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Rimsky-Korsakov and Mussorgsky, as well as works by Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Szymanowski and Janáček.
He has worked with major opera companies throughout the world, including the Bolshoi Theatre (La Bohème, Tosca, The Queen of Spades, Eugene Onegin, The Maid of Pskov), the Danish Royal Opera (The Queen of Spades, The Love for Three Oranges, The Markopoulos Case with director Graham Vick), the Deutsche Oper Berlin (La Traviata with director Götz Friedrich), the English National Opera (Eugene Onegin, Carmen), the Gothenburg Opera (The Queen of Spades, Boris Godunov, Eugene Onegin), La Scala (Khovanschina), Lyric Opera of Kansas City (Rusalka), Nationale Reisopera of The Nederlands (Madama Butterfly), the Norwegian Opera (La Bohème, Madama Butterfly), Opera Australia (Carmen, Manon Lescaut), Opera Colorado (Rusalka), Opéra de Monte Carlo (Boris Godunov), Opera National de Paris (Mavra, The Prodigal Son, Seven Deadly Sins with Anne Sofie von Otter), Opera New Zealand (Eugene Onegin), the Royal Opera, Covent Garden (Queen of Spades with Placido Domingo, Cherevichki/Tsarina’s Slippers with director Francesca Zambello), the San Francisco Opera (Fiery Angel, Turandot, La Bohème, The Cunning Little Vixen), Stuttgart Opera (The Queen of Spades, Lady Macbeth of Mstensk, Tosca, Boris Godunov with Pata Burchuladze, Turandot, La Traviata with Jonas Kaufmann), the Swedish Royal Opera, the Zurich Opera and the Welsh National Opera (La Traviata, Hansel und Gretel, Mazeppa, Eugene Onegin, The Queen of Spades).
He has worked with many world famous vocalists including Anna Netrebko, Anne Sofie von Otter, Elena Obraztsova, Dawn Upshaw, Olga Borodina, Larissa Diadkova, as well as Placido Domingo, Jonas Kaufmann, Vladimir Galuzin, Ildar Abdrazakov, Sir Thomas Allen, Pata Burchuladze, Sergey Leiferkus, and John Tomlinson, among many others.
He has toured New Zealand with the Wellington Symphony Orchestra and Australia with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Brisbane Symphony Orchestra. In the United Kingdom, he conducted the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (soloist Paul Lewis), the BBC National Orchestra of Wales (soloist Boris Berezovsky), the English Chamber Orchestra (soloist Misha Maiski), the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (soloist Jean-Yves Tibaude), the London Philharmonic, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (soloist Nikolay Demidenko), the Orchestra of Opera North, the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Hallé Orchestra.
Elsewhere, he has worked with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, the Beethoven Academie of Antwerp, the Calgary Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the Danish National Radio Orchestra, the Freiburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the Jenaer Philharmonie, the Latvian State Symphony Orchestra, the Norway Radio Orchestra, the Aalborg Symphony
Orchestra, the Odense Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Opera de Lyon, the Orchestra of Gothenburg Opera, the Orchestra of Danish Royal Opera House, the Oregon Symphony, Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, the Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, the Tivoli Symphony Orchestra, the State Symphony Orchestras of Belorussia, Latvia and Kazahkstan, as well as the major orchestras in Russia, including the Sverdlovsk Symphony Orchestra, the Novosibirsk Symphony Orchestra, the Russian National Orchestra and both Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Symphony Orchestras.
Alexander Polianichko has conducted an extensive ballet repertoire from Marius Petipa's classics of the Russian Nineteenth Century School, from the masterpieces of Fokin and Balanchine to contemporary choreography including works by Mats Ek, John Neumeier, Angelin Preljoсaj and Alexei Ratmansky. In 1996, he took the Opéra National de Paris to New York to perform Rudolf Nureev’s La Bayadera at the Metropolitan Opera House. In 2001, he conducted Swan Lake for the Royal Ballet, Covent Garden. In 2009, he was invited by Mats Ek to conduct his ballet, Sleeping Beauty, for first time with a live orchestra. Their cooperation continued in 2013 when Alexander conducted the World premiere of Mats Ek’s ballet on Tchaikovsky's music, Julia and Romeo, in the Swedish Royal Opera.
He participated in television recordings and live radio broadcasts in Russia and in different countries, and in the DVD recordings of the concert with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (2008), the new production of Tchaikovsky’s opera Cherevichki with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (2009) and Julia and Romeo by Mats Ek (2013).
From 1986 to 1989, Alexander Polianichko was the Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Belorussian State Chamber Orchestra in Minsk. From 1996 to 1999, he was the Principal Conductor of the Bournemouth Sinfonietta. From 2012 to 2015, he was the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Rostov Academic Symphony Orchestra and served as the professor of the conducting department of the Rostov State Conservatory.
From 1985 to 1989, he taught conducting at the St. Petersburg State Conservatory and the Minsk Conservatory. From 2005 to 2012, he taught young musicians the subtleties of orchestral playing in Sweden with the orchestra of the Swedish National Orchestra Academy, and in United Kingdom with the Symphony Orchestra of Royal College of Music, the Cambridge University Chamber Orchestra, and the Britten-Pears Youth Orchestra with which he appeared at the 2005-2007 Aldeburgh Festivals. Moreover, since 2001 he holds annual master classes in St. Petersburg with Peter the Great Music Academy, Baltic Music Academy and the Theatre of Hermitage Museum to which students come from all over the world.
Alexander Polianichko was a member of Jury at the Rimsky-Korsakov Opera Singers’ Competition in 1996 (Anna Netrebko, Olga Guryakova and Olga Trifonova are laureates) and has taken part in many international festivals such as Savonlinna (Finland), Bergen (Norway), Edinburgh and Aldeburgh (UK). In Russia, he participated in many major festivals, among them the Shaliapin Festival (Kazan), White Night's Festival (St. Petersburg), and Golden Mask Festival (Moscow).
In June, 2011, Alexander Polianichko was invited to be a member and took an active role in the jury of the most prestigious singing competition for new operatic performers: the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition.