CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 15, 2000 |
'Twas a drizzly night before Valentine's Day, and the John Alexander Singers offered the audience at the Orange County Performing Arts Center a lean and even austere program, rather than a sticky-sweet box of candy. In what was billed as "The Romantics II" program, the 34-voice chamber choir--drawn from the 160 members of the Pacific Chorale--sang works by Brahms, Carol Barnett, Benjamin Britten, Cecil Effinger, James F. Hopkins and Alexander himself, a world premiere, in fact.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 16, 1999 |
Everyone who saw "Amadeus" remembers Mozart desperately trying to finish the Requiem in D minor before he died. But he lost the race with time, and the work was completed--not by rival composer Antonio Salieri, as depicted in Peter Shaffer's 1979 play--but by Mozart's pupil Franz Xaver Sussmayr. Sussmayr, most scholars agree, botched things up, although his edition has become the standard one. Many people since then have rushed to Mozart's aid.
April 16, 1996 |
Sunday night marked the composing debut of John Alexander, as he led his own Pacific Chorale in a premiere of "This Time of Kites"--an a cappella setting of poetry by Ray Bradbury. The science-fiction and fantasy writer was on hand for the performance and gave the preconcert talk at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. The poems--a brief Prelude taken from "Telling Where the Sweet Gums Are" and two longer sections from "This Time of Kites"--celebrate life and its variety.
April 10, 1996 |
The decision to make his professional composing debut was not an easy one for John Alexander, as self-effacing a choral conductor as they come. He also was hesitant about using his own Pacific Chorale as the vehicle. But choosing the work--"This Time of Kites," to poetry by Ray Bradbury--was easy. "This is very much my Opus One," Alexander revealed with a chuckle. "And at my advanced age!" Alexander is only 51, but, he explained, "I've done no composing since my student days.
May 18, 1995 |
It may have taken a while for conductor John Alexander to get around to the pounding strains of "Carmina Burana" at a packed Pasadena Civic Auditorium Tuesday night, but when he did, the work resounded in most of its glory. But first: something completely different.
March 26, 1992 |
He acknowledges that putting on an a cappella concert can be "a very risky thing to do," but Pacific Chorale music director John Alexander says that even so, he can't resist programming such works. "The literature is so wonderful," he says. "Besides, last year, our a cappella program turned out to be our subscribers' favorite program."