background

Biography

.
“…Alex McDonald had fire and brimstone bouncing off the walls…McDonald handled Liszt’s dense layering of notes with breathtaking fury, that included recoloring the normal chord sonorities by sustaining them for several bars at a time, with dramatic fluency…”

Harold Duckett, Knoxville News-Sentine.

.
Since his orchestral debut at age 11, pianist Alex McDonald has soloed with the Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de Mexico, the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and the Utah Symphony Orchestra, among others. He has performed across the United States as well as in Israel, Mexico, Canada, Japan, and South Korea; additionally, he has been a featured performer on PBS, WRR (Dallas/Ft. Worth), KUHA and KUHF (Houston), NPR, and WQXR (New York City). Awards and fellowships include second prize at the 2007 New Orleans International Piano Competition and second prize at the 2001 Gina Bachauer International Young Artist Piano Competition. In 2008, he was named a Harvey Fellow by the Mustard Seed Foundation. In 2013, he was a competitor in the 2014 Van Cliburn Competition.

Highlights of this season include solo performances in Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, and Tennessee, and will record his first CD consisting of Liszt, Haydn and others this Fall. Additionally, he is appearing as a chamber musician in Texas and Virginia with Joseph Kuipers and the Marinus Ensemble and Ensemble 75, as well as two-piano concerts with Cathy Lysinger in Oklahoma and Texas. He will also perform Shostakovich’s Concerto no. 1 with the Dallas Chamber Symphony this September and Gershwin’s Concerto in F and Variations on I’ve Got Rhythm with the Plano Symphony this Spring.

Dr. McDonald is currently on faculty at Texas Woman’s University, having previously taught at Richland College as well as at the Juilliard School. Additionally, his private piano students have been admitted to Juilliard, Eastman and New England Conservatory, and have performed at Carnegie’s Weill Hall and on WRR. Deeply concerned about a healthy integration of life with music, he has actively pursued community formation both as an R.A. in the Juilliard residence hall and as president of Juilliard Christian Fellowship.

Dr. McDonald received his pre-college training under Lois Nielson, his bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory with Academic Honors and Distinction in Performance under Russell Sherman, and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Juilliard under Yoheved Kaplinsky and Julian Martin. His doctoral document, a source study on manuscripts and editions for Liszt’s Sonata in B Minor, has been cited in the most recent edition of the sonata by Alfred Publishers, edited by Nancy Bricard.

.