Location: Minnesota, USA
Elizabeth Alexander (b. 1962) grew up in the Carolinas and Appalachian Ohio, inheriting her love of music and language from her parents, a piano teacher and a minister. These twin passions are reflected in her catalogue of over 100 songs and choral works, and in critical reviews which frequently refer to "the close personal resonance between the composer and the words." Her compositional influences are wide-ranging, moving with ease between concert stage, choir loft and jam session.
Her music has been described as “brilliantly innovative” (New York Concert Review), “truly inspired” (Boston Intelligencer), “effective both visually and musically” (Ear Magazine), and “some of the most exquisite moments of the concert” (Kansas City Metropolis). Her frequent commissions include works for orchestra, chamber ensembles, solo instruments and voice, but she is best know for her choral pieces, which have received over a dozen awards and been performed by thousands of choruses worldwide.
She studied composition with Steven Stucky, Jack Gallagher, Yehudi Wyner and Karel Husa, receiving her doctorate in Music Composition from Cornell University. A 2011 McKnight Composition Fellow, she has also received awards and fellowships from the Jerome Foundation, New York Council on the Arts, Wisconsin Arts Board, National Orchestral Association, International League of Women Composers, American Composers Forum, Meet the Composer and ASCAP.
She makes her home in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where she makes pretty good biscuits, shamelessly encourages her teenagers' jokes, and gardens during the three month period in Minnesota which is not winter.