Pedro Alcalde was born in Barcelona, where he studied piano, flute, violin and composition. He graduated in Philosophy at the UNIVERSITY OF BARCELONA in 1982. In 1984, he received his Master of Arts degree from COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY – NEW YORK, where he studied composition and conducting. In 1988 he obtained his Doctorate in Philosophy and Musicology from the FREIE UNIVERSITÄT – BERLIN with a dissertation on the structure and sense in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, later to be published in book form (Frankfurt am Main: 1992). In 1990 he qualified with honours at the two-year postgraduate programme in Orchestral Conducting from the HOCHSCHULE FÜR MUSIK – VIENNA under Professor Karl Österreicher.
From 1990 to 1991, he worked at the VIENNA STATE OPERA as assistant to Claudio Abbado and second conductor in the productions of Don Giovanni, Le nozze di Figaro and Wozzeck and later in the SALZBURG EASTER FESTIVAL in those of Otello and Elektra. In 1990, he became Assistant Conductor of the VIENNA PHILHARMONIC and between 1991 and 1996 of the BERLIN PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA with Claudio Abbado.
In January 1998, he conducted the premiere of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet with choreography by Nacho Duato for the COMPAÑÍA NACIONAL DE DANZA (CND). From that date until 2010, he worked as Musical Director of the CND. During his collaboration with Nacho Duato and the CND, he conducted numerous productions featuring music such as Mozart’s Piano Concertos, Górecki’s Third Symphony, Stabat Mater and Salve Regina by Vivaldi, Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms and the Wesendonck Lieder by Wagner among others.
Since 2004 he has composed, together with Sergio Caballero, the music for six ballets for Nacho Duato and the COMPAÑÍA NACIONAL DE DANZA: Herrumbre (2004) Diecisiete (2005), Alas (2006), Hevel (2007), Cobalto (2009) and Jardín infinito (2010), the latter being a production for the Chekhov International Theatre Festival of Moscow. In 2013, two sections from Herrumbre were included in Nacho Duato’s choreography of Rust, a ballet produced by the MARTHA GRAHAM DANCE COMPANY in New York.
Pedro Alcalde has conducted numerous orchestras highlighting those from Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, Frankfurt, Rome, Bologna, Ferrara, Osaka and St. Petersburg, in a large list of concert halls and opera houses worldwide.
His multidisciplinary interests have led him to participate in a wide variety of projects:
Between 1995 and 2001 he carried out various recordings for the BERLIN RADIO (SFB) of Beethoven’s last piano sonatas and György Kurtág’s last compositions for piano; a selection of the latter were used by Nacho Duato for his choreography L’HOMME, which premiered in 2003 at the Teatro Real de Madrid.
With the Symphonic Orchestra of Barcelona he has collaborated – SONAR 2004 AND 2005 – with leading artists in the field of electronic music such as Pan Sonic and Richie Hawtin or searching new forms of visualizing music with Offenhuber-Wenhart and Rachel Reupke, conducting a concert with landscape as a theme: Mussorgsky, Debussy, Bartók, Takemitsu.
He has conducted the music composed by Alberto Iglesias for the first film directed by John Malkovich: THE DANCER UPSTAIRS, performed by the Symphonic Orchestra of Madrid and featuring soloists of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. The music won the Nino Rota Soundtrack Award at the 2002 edition of the Venice Film Festival.
For the internationally renowned theatre company LA FURA DELS BAUS, he composed Infinito, a piece for orchestra and tape, which premiered in a staged concert on the myth of Prometheus at the Teatro Clásico de Mérida.
In 2009, he composed the soundtrack of CIRCUIT (2010) a film by Xavier Ribera featuring Sophie Auster and Vincent Martinez, selected at the Film Festivals of Málaga, Shanghai and Karlovi Vari. In 2013, together with Sergio Caballero, he created the sound design and composed the original music for the movie LA DISTANCIA (2014), nominated at the festivals of Rotterdam and Copenhagen.
In 2011 he conducted Nacho Duato’s first premiere performances for the Mikhailovsky Ballet Company at the MIKHAILOVSKY THEATRE in Saint Petersburg and during the Moscow tour of the theatre at the STANISLAVSKY THEATRE.
In 2013, together with Sergio Caballero, he composed the music for act 2 of the multimedia opera EL SOMNI by Franc Aleu and EL CELLER DE CAN ROCA. In addition to its premiere, the cross-discipline work was presented in various formats, including an exhibition, a book and a movie. The movie featured at the 65th Berlin Film Festival BERLINALE in 2014.
In 2014 he composed the final scene of Nacho Duato’s ballet Depak Ine, premiered by the MARTHA GRAHAM DANCE COMPANY at the New York City Center in March of the same year. In 2015 he composed, together with Sergio Caballero, the incidental music for Static Time, a choreography by Nacho Duato for the STAATSBALLETT BERLIN.
In March 2015 he has conducted Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty at the DEUTSCHE OPER BERLIN and in May 2015 he made his debut at the STAATSOPER BERLIN conducting a new production of a three ballets program. In September 2015 he opened the new TEATRO REAL season in Madrid with the Staatsballett Berlin and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid conducting Sleeping Beauty.
In 2013 he imparted the seminar on composition at the Higher School of Music in Barcelona – ESMUC. Pedro Alcalde is Guest Professor at the UNIVERSIDAD CARLOS III – MADRID since 2009.