This biography is of the founder of Scottish Opera, Sir Alexander Gibson . He was musical director of the Scottish National Orchestra for 25 of its most vital years. He has championed Scottish composers, and played a crucial role in his homeland's cultural history, making it musically self-aware in a way it never was before. Yet Sir Alexander Gibson - "Alex" to all who know him - remains a very private man, even though he has conducted performances of "The Ring" and "The Trojans", given the Scottish premiere of Mahler's vast "Eighth Symphony" (thereby bringing about the creation of the Edinburgh Festival Chorus), and taken the SNO on its first tours to Vienna and New York. Although he was the youngest musical director of what the English National Opera, has held major guest appointments in Houston and Detroit, and been winner of Scandinavia's Sibelius Medal, he continues to regard Glasgow as home.