Frey, Alexander

Date created: 26.05.2016.
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Alexander Frey

Alexander Frey studied piano in Chicago for 22 years with Gavin Williamson, one of the last direct links to 19th century pianism. He studied organ with Richard Webster and Edward Mondello, also in Chicago. He received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees (with honors) from the University of Michigan where he studied organ with Robert Glasgow, conducting with Gustav Meier and composition with William Albright and William Bolcom. Alexander Frey's international career as conductor, organist, pianist and recording artist has taken him all over the globe with performances in the music capitals of Europe, North and South America, Asia and Africa. A Top 10 Billboard Classical Music Chart@ Artist (2005), he performs every year with symphony orchestras and as soloist throughout the world, as well as in many international festivals. In addition to his work as pianist and organist, Frey is in great demand as one of the world's most versatile conductors, and enjoys great success in the concert hall and opera house, and in the music of Hollywood and Broadway. He was the first organist ever to perform an entire symphony of Gustav Mahler as a solo work for organ. As pianist and organist, Alexander Frey has performed with many of the world’s great symphony orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Munich Symphony Orchestra, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra (ORF), Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin (Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra), Orchestra dell’Arena di Verona, Sinfónica del Estado de México (State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra) etc. under such conductors as Claudio Abbado, John Mauceri, Michael Tilson Thomas, Howard Shore and John Axelrod.

A highly honored recording artist, Alexander Frey’s recording of Korngold’s Between Two Worlds was listed by Gramophone Magazine as one of the 250 Greatest Recordings of All Time. In addition, he has received the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis (Germany's highest recording honor), Choice of the French Media Critics, Best Recording of the Year (Fi Magazine), Best Original Cast Recording of the Year-2005 (Borders Music), Favorite Record of the Year-2005 (ArkivMusic), the Bronze World Medal of the New York Festival, BBC Critics Choice, Record of the Month (MusicWeb, UK), Best Instrumental CD of the Month (Galaxie Magazine, Canada) and Best CD of the Month (Best New Classics). Frey's recordings can be found on the Koch International Classics, Decca and Deutsche Grammophon labels.

Leonard Bernstein once referred to him as "a wonderful spirit". In an article in The Prague Post discussing Mr. Frey’s wide-ranging musical career and influence, Steffen Silvis wrote, “Alexander Frey has had an enormous impact on Europe's music scene over the past 15 years. Frey has managed to successfully straddle the line between "classical" and "popular" music (arguably a faulty demarcation). He is as at home with Mahler symphonies (which he can conduct from memory) as he is with Bernstein’s West Side Story.”