Alex Berko

Composer | Pianist | Arranger

"Music can name the unnamable and communicate the unknowable."

- Leonard Bernstein

Upcoming Event

The Virginia Chorale and conductor Chuck Woodward will perform Lincoln on their program entitled X.Y.Z. celebrating composers born after 1961.

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Recent News

Alex’s rendition of Fool on the Hill receives a 2018 Downbeat award for ‘Best Arrangement’. The chart was recognized nationally and additional press can be found in the 2018 Downbeat Magazine. In addition, Indiana University’s VJE, directed by Jeremy Fox, received a Downbeat award for the Graduate Level of the Small Vocal Jazz Ensemble category.

Alex was selected as the winner of the 2018 Boston New Music Initiative (BNMI) 6th Annual Commissioning Competition. As a result, Alex will compose a new work for pierrot ensemble that will be featured in Spring of 2019 by the BNMI ensemble. The concert is a celebration of the relationship between visual art and music and the piece will be inspired by artwork created by a New England based artist.

Alex received a Merit Award from the 2018 Tribeca New Music Festival’s Young Composer Competition, Division 1, for Comedy Club.

The Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble (BCE) conducted by Donald Nally performed Lincoln for a concert celebrating Equality at Northwestern University.

Alex had his senior recital in Recital Hall at Indiana University. The concert featured a diverse program of music written throughout his past four years at IU. It also featured a number of his instrumental and conductor friends and colleagues.

New commission for the Cathedral Choral Society as part of their 2017-2018 season. The concert was entitled ‘Solitude and Joy’ and the choir premiered Alex’s piece Lincoln at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. along with a premiere of a piece by Ēriks Ešenvalds. Donald Nally conducted.

The Heartland Marimba Quartet premiered ‘Through a Technicolor Glass’ commissioned for the 2018 SCI National Conference held at University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington.

The Logansport Children’s Choir conducted by Tim Cahalan performed The Poet and His Song at the 2018 Indiana Music Educators Association (IMEA) Conference.

The Cape Symphony under the direction of Maestro Jung-Ho Pak performed their ‘Holiday on the Cape’ concert which featured the Chatham Chorale and various guest vocal artists including Kate McGarry. Kate performed Alfred Burt’s ‘Some Children See Him’ arranged and orchestrated by Alex.

Alex performed in the pit for Newsies the musical at Blossom Music Center in Porthouse Theatre. The show was directed by Terri Kent and musically directed by Jonathan Swoboda.

Nai Barghouti presented: “Moments”, a UK tour of Arabic Jazz. She performed a variety of middle eastern songs fused with elements of contemporary jazz including Alex’s arrangement of Ya Leili.

Alex was one of five composition fellows to be selected for the Big Sky Choral Initiative where he had the opportunity to compose a new work for members of The Crossing. He also worked with conductor, Donald Nally and guest composer, Gavin Bryars.

Nick Ho performed Kaleidoscope along with pieces by Purcell, Schubert, Ho, Tang, and Rachmaninoff for a concert at the Himawari Hotel in Cambodia.

Alex attended the Fresh Inc Festival, led by Fifth House Ensemble and directed by Dan Visconti and Stacy Garrop. He had a new work for oboe, clarinet, horn, and piano entitled ‘Comedy Club’ premiered at the festival.

The Roosevelt University Conservatory Chorus, under the direction of Dr. Cheryl Frazes Hill performed Forgiven Tears at the Illinois Holocaust Museum for Yom Hashoah — Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The Roosevelt University Conservatory Chorus, under the direction of Dr. Cheryl Frazes Hill performed Forgiven Tears at Roosevelt University.

Nicholas Ho performed Kaleidoscope on his senior recital in Bloomington, IN.

‘A Fractured Whisper’ for string quartet was performed in Auer Hall at Indiana University by Isaac Allen (violin), Chris Leonard (violin), Yonsung Lee (viola), and Eliza Bracken (cello).

Indiana University’s Vocal Jazz Ensemble I performed alongside Kate McGarry as part of their spring concert. The concert featured various pieces in the jazz and folk idiom, including Alex’s new arrangement of ‘The Fool on the Hill’.

The Singing Hoosiers presented their annual Spring Concert on Saturday April 8th with two shows at 2pm and 8pm. The concert also featured a new arrangement written and conducted by Alex.

Alex performed Kaleidoscope as part of the memorial concert for his former piano teacher, Edmund Battersby.

The Del Sol String Quartet premiered ‘A Fractured Whisper’ as part of the RED NOTE New Music Festival Composition Workshop. The workshop included rehearsals with Del Sol as well as masterclasses with guest composer, Sydney Hodkinson.

Brett Rojas premiered Alex’s new percussion work ‘At the Window’, commissioned for Brett’s senior recital in Bloomington, IN.

3dB Vocal Ensemble performed ‘The Tower Roof’ in Auer Hall at Indiana University.

frequency vocal jazz ensemble at Troy University, directed by Diane Orlofsky performed Alex’s arrangement of ‘Where is Love‘ for their fall concert.

Austin Pancner premiered ‘Flight’ for trombone and piano at Indiana University as part of his performance diploma recital.

Alex performed with NOTUS Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, conducted by Dominick DiOrio at Indiana University. The concert was in memory and honor of David Baker, esteemed jazz musician and founder of the jazz studies program at Indiana University. In addition to singing in the chorus, Alex also played piano in the jazz combo for David Baker’s ‘Images, Shadows, and Dreams: Five Vignettes’.

The avant-garde vocal trio, 3dB premiered a new work of Alex’s entitled ‘The Tower Roof’ at the “Silence Presents” series in Guelph, Canada. The ensemble consists of Daniel Bayot, Daniel Baumgartner, and David Breen.

Alex performed in the pit for Footloose the musical at Blossom Music Center in Porthouse Theatre. The show was directed by Terri Kent and musically directed by Jonathan Swoboda.

Alex gave a masterclass on composition and arranging at Acappella Camp, directed by Reggie Bowens.

Alex was selected as the winner of the SCI/ASCAP Commission Competition for his piece Aftershock. He will be commissioned to write a new work for an upcoming SCI national convention.

Alex received an Honorable Mention from the Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute for his piece Dreamcatcher.

Alex was invited to participate at the NYU/ASCAP Film Scoring Institute. The program consisted of masterclasses and presentations from leading composers in the film and television industry. It culminated in a recording session with members of the New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera Orchestra playing cues written by the participants at the program.

Alex performed with the premiere Vocal Jazz Ensemble at Indiana University. The ensemble performed with world-renowned vocalist Kurt Elling at the Buskirk-Chumley Theatre and premiered Alex’s arrangement of Where is Love, originally written by Lionel Bart for the musical Oliver.

NOTUS Contemporary Vocal Ensemble conducted by Dominick DiOrio performed Forgiven Tears at the American Choral Directors Association Central Division Conference. The piece was the recipient of the ACDA Brock Memorial Composition Prize.

Alex received 1st place in the Webster University Composition Contest for his piece Purple. He was invited to St. Louis for a performance of his piece as well as participate in a masterclass with Lansing McLoskey.

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First Presbyterian Church

Virginia Beach, VA

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