Los Angeles based pianist Alexander Zhu works in a wide variety of roles on the piano, as well as synthesizer, harpsichord, organ, and celesta, from soloist to chamber and orchestral musician. Alexander has performed solo recitals, concerti and chamber and orchestral music coast to coast in the US, playing in such esteemed venues such as the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Symphony Hall and Jordan Hall in Boston, and Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. He has performed concerti with the Milwaukee Symphony and the Sioux City Symphony.
Originally from St. Paul, Minnesota, Alexander is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, studying with Stewart Gordon. He serves as a graduate teaching assistant in the Keyboard Studies Department. He earned a Bachelor of Music with academic honors from New England Conservatory in Boston, before completing a Master of Music at USC. He is the recipient of NEC’s Tourjée Alumni Scholarship and Thornton’s Distinguished Graduate Award. While at NEC, Alexander studied with Randall Hodgkinson and Stephen Drury. Alexander has also studied collaborative piano at the Aspen Music Festival, working with Rita Sloan. Prior to his conservatory studies, he studied with Lydia Artymiw.
An accomplished orchestral musician, Alexander is the principal keyboardist of the YMF Debut Orchestra and the American Youth Symphony. He previously served as the principal keyboard of Boston’s Discovery Ensemble, the New England Conservatory Orchestras, as well as the Aspen Chamber Symphony, where he served alongside principal players from the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony. He has collaborated with soloists such as Joshua Bell, Lynn Harrell, and Gil Shaham, and performed under conductors such as Leonard Slatkin, David Robertson, and Robert Spano. He has also appeared on several film scores, including The Harvest (2013), directed by John McNoughton, as well as on radio programs on NPR, WGBH, KUSC and LACMA’s Sundays Live.
Alexander is an enthusiastic teacher of piano, music theory and music history; he maintains a busy teaching schedule, focusing on inspiring a lifelong love for music in his students and preparing them to pursue their passion for their instrument. He is a member of MTNA and MTAC. He joined the piano faculty at Pasadena Conservatory of Music in 2017.