The University of South Dakota Department of Music will present guest pianist Reid Alexander in a solo recital on Thursday, Jan. 12, at 8 p.m. in the Colton Recital Hall of the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts. The recital is open to the public free of charge. Alexander is a long time friend of the USD music department as he is married to Jo Ellen DeVilbiss, daughter of former USD band professor, Ray DeVilbiss. The program celebrates 2012 as the 150th anniversary of the birth of the impressionistic French composer Claude Debussy, featuring the entire second book of Debussy's Préludes with additional piano compositions by Franz Liszt and Olivier Messiaen.
A doctoral graduate of Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN), Alexander is a nationally recognized figure in the field of piano and piano pedagogy. A finalist in the first Gina Bachauer Piano Competition, his early piano study was with the well-known Schnabel student, Stanley Fletcher, with further coaching under prominent artists such as Ruth Slenczynska and Mieczyslaw Horszowski. Credits include presentations and recitals in over 40 states and in countries abroad. He recently returned from Korea where he gave guest lectures and master classes at Yonsei University, Sookmyung University, Sangmyung University, Ewha Women's University, and Hansei University where he was the Keynote Speaker and featured recitalist-clinician for the annual meeting of that country's prestigious Korean Association of Piano Pedagogy.
A widely published author and clinician, the past decade has seen the release of the highly regarded Celebrate Composer Series (Toronto: Frederick Harris), approximately 2,600 pages of solo piano music with supporting study notes and commentary in 27 volumes. Additionally, he served as an editor for the widely used 30-volume Celebration Series and co-authored the companion teachers' guide, Handbook for Teachers, for that series. After several years of work, March 2011 saw the release of the fifth edition of the standard bibliographic resource on piano teaching literature, Piano Repertoire Guide: Intermediate and Advanced Literature (Stipes Publishing).
Earlier in his career, the University of Illinois honored Professor Alexander as a faculty recipient of an all-campus award for teaching excellence, recognizing his teaching versatility with pianists of all ages. Each academic year he works with a stellar class of both international and domestic pianists on the Urbana campus and in the summer supervises the highly respected pre-collegiate piano camps for Illinois Summer Youth Music. During the 1999-2000 academic year, Dr. Alexander took a leave of absence from the University of Illinois to serve as tenured Professor of Piano and Director of the prominent piano pedagogy doctoral program at The University of Oklahoma-Norman.