Alexander Hersh, cello
Having already performed as soloist with the Houston Symphony and the Boston Pops, cellist Alexander Hersh has quickly established himself as a rising young talent. Recent season highlights have included his Carnegie Weill Hall recital debut, a performance of the Schumann Cello Concerto with the Houston Symphony, a “Three-generation” Hersh Trio performance of the Beethoven Triple Concerto for the opening night of the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra’s 40th anniversary season, a performance of the Brahms Double Concerto with the DuPage Symphony Orchestra, as well as recital and chamber music appearances in New York, Boston, Chicago, Blonay, and Berlin.
Alexander performs frequently throughout the US, Canada, and across Europe. He has received numerous awards both as a soloist and as a chamber musician, including first prizes at the 2017 New York International Artists Association Competition; 2017 Luminarts Classical Music Fellowship; the 2016 Schadt String Competition; 2016 Jefferson Symphony International Young Artists Competition; the 2016 Hellam Young Artist Competition; 2015 Boston Pops/New England Conservatory Competition; Society of American Musicians; the Saint Paul String Quartet Competition; the Jules M. Laser National Chamber Music Competition; the Chicago National Chamber Music Competition; and is a three time winner of the New England Conservatory Honors Competition.
The Musiq3 critics of the RTBF Belgian Radio company gave Alexander’s performance at the inaugural Queen Elisabeth Cello Competition in Belgium in 2017 a rave review: “The evening session allowed us to hear the American Alexander Hersh (23 years old) on the already well-filled list. With his scenic presence and charm, Hersh has everything to become the darling of the public. Add to that a powerful sound mixed with a varied palette, and you get a certain semi-finalist, or even more.”
A passionate chamber musician, Alexander has performed the complete string quartets of Béla Bartok and Alban Berg and much of the rest of the chamber music canon in music festivals worldwide including Music@Menlo; Ravinia Steans Music Institute; Perlman Music Program Chamber Music Workshop; Piatigorsky International Cello Festival; Amsterdam Cello Biennale; Kronberg Academy Cello Masterclasses; Olympic Music Festival; Kneisel Hall; Domaine Forget; New York String Orchestra Seminar; National Arts Centre Young Artists Programme; and the Meadowmount School of Music. In the Summer of 2014, he served as principal cellist for the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra in Lucerne, Switzerland.
In March of 2017, Alexander won the Borromeo String Quartet Guest Artist Award and subsequently performed with the ensemble in Jordan Hall. In June of 2017, he curated his very own chamber music concert at the 53rd Street New York Public Library, “Alexander Hersh and Friends,” featuring great masterpieces performed alongside other rising young artists.
A fourth generation string player, Alexander’s parents, Stefan and Roberta, are both active professional violinists. His grandfather, Paul Hersh, is professor of viola and piano at San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and his great-grandfather, Ralph Hersh, was a member of the WQXR and Stuyvesant String Quartets, and principal violist of the Dallas and Atlanta Symphony Orchestras.
Raised in Chicago, Alexander began playing the cello at the age of five. He studied with Steve Balderston and Hans Jørgen Jensen, and attended the Academy at the Music Institute of Chicago. As a high school student Alexander was heard twice on NPR's "From the Top," and performed as soloist with the Chicago Youth Concert Orchestra, and the Oak Park River Forest Symphony Orchestra. Alexander received his bachelor’s degree with academic honors from New England Conservatory where he was a student of Laurence Lesser and recipient of the Clara M. Friedlaender Scholarship. In May of 2017, he received his master’s degree from New England Conservatory where he studied under the tutelage of Paul Katz and Kim Kashkashian. Alexander was a recipient of the Frank Huntington Beebe fund for studies in Berlin during the 2017 - 2018 academic year where he continues to study with Nicolas Altstaedt at Hanns Eisler Hochschule for Musik Berlin. He plays a G.B. Rogeri cello on generous loan from a sponsor through Darnton & Hersh Fine Violins in Chicago, IL.