Artistic Director John Alexander
About John Alexander
Artistic Director since 1972, John Alexander is considered one of America's finest choral conductors. His inspired leadership both on the podium and as an advocate for the advancement of the arts has generated international respect and acclaim throughout his career.
Proponent of American works
His long and distinguished career has encompassed conducting hundreds of choral and orchestral performances in 27 countries around the globe. Alexander is not only recognized for his exceptional talent in bringing the masterworks to life, but is also eminent as a strong proponent of contemporary American music. He regularly programs works by American composers, and has presented many premieres of their works. In 2011, he conducts Pacific Chorale and the John Alexander Singers in the Southern California premiere of David Lang's The Little Match Girl Passion. The 2007-2008 season saw the world premieres of works by Zachary Wadsworth and Michael Eglin, commissioned through Pacific Chorale's Young Composers Competition, and the West Coast premiere of David Del Tredici's Paul Revere's Ride. In the 2006-2007 season Pacific Chorale premiered commissions by acclaimed composers Jake Heggie and Morten Lauridsen. Previous premieres have included performances of works by John Adams, Dominick Argento, Eric Whitacre, Howard Hanson, Stephen Paulus, Frank Ticheli and James Hopkins.
John Alexander collaborates with preeminent conductors
Alexander is renowned for his superb preparation of choruses for performances with the world's leading ensembles and conductors. Preeminent artists on the world stage regularly request his efforts to prepare choruses for important works. Conductors with whom he has worked include Zubin Mehta, Seiji Ozawa, Pierre Boulez, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Michael Tilson Thomas, Leonard Slatkin, Carl St. Clair, Lukas Foss, Keith Lockhart, John Mauceri, Marin Alsop, Gerard Schwarz and Max Rudolf.
Ambassador for the arts
Alexander is also a prominent ambassador for the preservation and advancement of the arts. He is a board member and former president of Chorus America, the service organization for American and international choruses. Alexander also has served on artistic review panels for national, state-wide and local arts organizations, including the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, and the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.
Legacy as a distinguished teacher
Alexander retired in spring 2006 from his position of Director of Choral Studies at California State University, Fullerton, having been awarded the honor of Professor Emeritus. From 1970 to 1996, he held the position of Director of Choral Studies at California State University, Northridge. Alexander continues his involvement in the pre-professional training of choral conductors. He is in demand as a teacher, clinician, and adjudicator in choral festivals, seminars and workshops across the United States. In 2003, Chorus America honored him with the establishment of the "John Alexander Conducting Faculty Chair" for their national conducting workshops.
Composer and recipient of numerous leadership awards
Alexander is also a composer of numerous works and serves as the editor of the John Alexander Choral Series with Hinshaw Music. His numerous tributes and awards include: The "Distinguished Faculty Member" award from California State University, Fullerton (2006); the Helena Modjeska Cultural Legacy Award (2003), presented in honor of his lifetime achievement as an artistic visionary in the development of the arts in Orange County; the "Outstanding Individual Artist" Award (2000) from Arts Orange County; the "Gershwin Award" (1990), presented by the county of Los Angeles in recognition of his cultural leadership in that city; and the "Outstanding Professor" Award (1976) from California State University, Northridge. Most recently, in June 2008, Alexander received the "Michael Korn Founders Award for Development of the Professional Choral Art" from Chorus America.