#FOCUSDisruption: Alumni Artist Profile: Margin Alexander

0

Margin Alexander’s musical talent has taken him to places in the United States and Europe. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has brought it to people’s screens. And the present brings him a mix of both.

A composer and pianist based in New York, Alexander began studying music in Europe at the age of 14. Pursuing graduate studies, he graduated from Montclair State University in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in music theory and composition before receiving a master’s degree in arts and education. in 2015.

Alexandre is a composer and pianist.
Photo courtesy of Margin Alexander

Throughout his college career, he has participated in collaborative opportunities under the guidance of Grammy Award-winning composer Robert Aldridge. This included working with the dance department, orchestral reading, the Harry Partch Ensemble and the concert choir. Alexander refers to this as a turning point in his life, creating a passion within him to get to where he is now in his musical journey.

“[Montclair State] offered an array of ensembles and diverse performance opportunities for composers and performers, Alexander said. “Throughout each semester and year, I had the opportunity to perform several times on stage and in various contexts. It was a golden ticket to gain experience as a composer and performer.

Alexander graduated from Montclair State in 2011 with a bachelor's degree in music theory and composition before receiving a master's degree in arts and education in 2015. Photo courtesy of Margin Alexander

Alexander graduated from Montclair State in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in music theory and composition before receiving a master’s degree in arts and education in 2015.
Photo courtesy of Margin Alexander

The period that followed was filled with regular performances of original neoclassical/neo-romantic compositions in places like New Jersey, New York, Illinois and California. That is, until the first wave of COVID-19 results in a slew of canceled and postponed events, an obstacle for all of the arts, according to Alexander.

“Without an audience, a performance just isn’t the same,” Alexander said. “As a result, there was a lot of discouragement, pain, disappointment, etc. I had many concerts scheduled and was at the height of my fledgling career. Then, [COVID-19] come. My tours in Indonesia and Russia have been cancelled. A United States concert tour was also cancelled. I had to reconfigure myself. »

Alexander did just that and created a new strategy for himself. He acquired a small mobile digital grand piano to use on the go and performed many of his concerts virtually. The musician also continued to connect with other artists, resulting in new collaborations and new pieces.

One such collaborator includes Celeste Chau, who knows Alexander through the Association of Classical Musicians and Artists, of which both are members. As Chau and the organizations she is part of have gone through a difficult time brought on by COVID-19, she featured her music in a Play-In for the Association of Chamber Music Players in 2018, confirming her earlier discovery of her “style melodic cinematography”. as a “professional, egoless and extremely likable” composer and musician.

“[Alexander] really successful for us,” Chau said. “He recorded a beautiful concert with short talks about his inspirations, and he recorded and edited it himself. All we had to do was release it. It was a huge relief for us because [we] were still struggling and figuring out what to do. We were still all in lockdown so he really helped save our concert series to entertain and inspire our community with his music from the safety of their homes.

Alexander performed at a private concert in a Victorian-style mansion in New York.  Photo courtesy of Margin Alexander

Alexander performed at a private concert in a Victorian-style mansion in New York.
Photo courtesy of Margin Alexander

Another artist inspired by Alexander is director Nikolas Grasso. Since meeting, Grasso has asked Alexander to play the Italian-American lead character in his short film ‘Tavola’ – a fitting role given the musician’s ability to speak five languages ​​fluently, including Italian. .

Grasso met Alexander in 2018 at the IBLA Grand Prix in Sicily, a music competition in which Grasso’s wife also participated. Feeling an instant connection, Grasso visited him several times in the United States and met him on international tours in Europe where his wife performed alongside Alexander.

Grasso noted Alexander’s commitment to art and his strong work ethic.

“He was very persistent during [COVID-19] and did not hesitate to travel all over Europe to continue giving concerts to his audience,” said Grasso. “I’ve met a lot of people who are inspired by his music, and I can say he inspires me too.”

Moving from the pandemic to its worst wave, Alexander’s first in-person performance was in Switzerland. He then gave concerts in the Netherlands, Germany, North Macedonia to name a few. In October 2021, he performed for the second time at Carnegie Hall for the debut of his “Blue Nocturne”.

Alexandre bows after the premiere of

Alexander bows after the premiere of “Blue Nocturne”.
Photo courtesy of Margin Alexander

As for what drives Alexander through the pandemic and continues to drive him forward as he works on new pieces and finalizes more international performances, it’s his love for music.

“Overall, music is power,” Alexander said. “Many people find solace and consolation in music, no matter where, no matter what. There are times when we feel so moved by a piece of music that no travel, financial wealth or any other form of happiness cannot compete with it. I firmly believe that music has been a lifeline and will continue to be in difficult times like [COVID-19].”

Share.

Comments are closed.