Alex Berko is an American composer, pianist, and arranger.
Fascinated by the art of story telling, Alex Berko often writes music that combines cinematic elements with a unique and widely influenced harmonic pallet, containing a strong emotional narrative. Berko (b. 1995) is an American composer, pianist, and arranger from Cleveland, Ohio whose music has been performed in Asia, Canada, and throughout the United States.
Berko’s music has been performed and recorded by members of the New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Del Sol String Quartet, The Crossing Choir, NOTUS Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, and Indiana University’s Vocal Jazz Ensemble I, among many others. He has been named the winner of the SCI/ASCAP Commission Competition, the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Brock Composition Prize, the Carl E. Baldassarre Composer/Performer competition at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM), and the Webster University Composition Competition, among others. Additionally, he is a three-time ASCAP Morton Gould Finalist and has received additional recognition from BMI (Student Composer Awards Finalist) and the Minnesota Orchestra Composer’s Institute (Honorable Mention). For piano performance, Berko was a finalist in the CIM Concerto Competition and a semifinalist in the Dubois Piano Competition at Bowling Green State University (BGSU).
Berko’s music has been heard at the Green Music Center, the ACDA Central Division Conference, the Jazz Education Network (JEN) Conference, RED NOTE New Music Festival, BGSU New Music Festival, NYU/ASCAP Film Scoring Institute, Atlantic Music Festival, California Summer Music Festival, and Interlochen Arts Camp, as well as on Cleveland (OH) and Bloomington (IN) Public Radio. At the age of 13, Berko collaborated and performed a piece with Verb Ballet, a Cleveland-based contemporary dance company. Beyond concert music, he has gone on to score several independent films and arrange many pieces for various choirs, ensembles, and solo artists.
Recent projects include a collaboration with Grammy-nominated vocalist, Kate McGarry and the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra for December 2017, a new work commissioned for the Heartland Marimba Quartet to be performed at the 2018 SCI National Conference in March, and a new 15-minute work commissioned by the Monterey Symphony for their season opening concert in October 2018.
Berko currently attends Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, pursuing a BM in composition with an outside concentration in piano and entrepreneurship. In addition, he is a member of NOTUS Contemporary Vocal Ensemble and has sung in the leading Vocal Jazz Ensemble. In his early years, Berko received extensive training in composition, piano, and theory at the Cleveland Institute of Music pre-college division. Primary teachers for composition include Claude Baker, Keith Fitch, Aaron Travers, Don Freund, and Stephen Stanziano. For piano, he has studied with Edmund Battersby and Sandra Shapiro. He currently studies composition with David Dzubay and piano with Jean-Louis Haguenauer. Berko is a member of ASCAP.