Dr. Alex McDonald

Basically Beethoven Festival Director

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, NPR, and WQXR. 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. He was a participant in the 2014 Van Cliburn Competition.

Alex currently maintains a private studio, having previously taught at Texas Woman’s University and Richland College, as well as at the Juilliard School, where he also was a Teaching Fellow for both the Literature and Materials and Piano Minor departments. His private piano students have been admitted to Juilliard and Eastman, 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.

Alex 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. He has also received significant coaching from Pamela Paul, Stephen Nielson, Sam Wong, John Owings, Tamas Ungar, and especially his mother Marcy McDonald. 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.