An Oberlin Conservatory faculty recital reaturing Alexa Still, flute with Allie Su, piano, Chris Jenkins, viola, and Robert Adair, bass.
About the Performers
Alexa Still is known internationally for her many recordings on the Koch International Classics label. She has been described as: “impeccable in technique and taste, seductive in phrasing” (Stephensen Classical CD Guide). “Still plays... so convincingly I cannot separate her from the music” (American Record Guide), “whatever she plays sounds musical in every turn of the phrase” (Gramophone), “a stunning showcase for the astonishing Alexa Still” (Fanfare).
A New Zealander, Still’s graduate study was in New York (SUNY Stony Brook) where she also won competitions including the New York Flute Club Young Artist Competition and the East and West Artists Competition. Still then won principal flute of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra at the age of 23. While home, she received a Churchill Fellowship and a Fulbright award, used for further study in the US. In 1998, she left the NZSO to become associate professor of flute at University of Colorado at Boulder in 1998. She then moved to Sydney in 2006, where she became professor of flute and director of performance research at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. In June of 2011, Still was appointed associate professor of flute at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.
Still maintains a busy concert schedule, having presented recitals, concertos, and master classes in England, Germany, Slovenia, Turkey, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Canada, Korea, China, Australia, New Zealand, and across the United States. Her 13th solo compact disc (concertos including the Pied Piper Fantasy) was released in September 2004 to unanimous acclaim: “Anyone who doubts Still's dumbfounding technical ability or complete tonal control should hear these… You just won't hear better-sustained flute playing on disc than this” (Fanfare Magazine). Still’s 14th CD was released in January 2008 (music for flute and piano with New York-based English pianist Stephen Gosling). “Both performers are constantly praised for their technical prowess and amazing ability to make the most challenging works sound effortless and easy. Reviewers everywhere agree that Alexa Still doesn’t make anything sound tough. She gracefully sprints and hurdles through menacing challenges without seeming to break a sweat. Added to this technical superiority comes an equally superior sensitive musical side. This disc isn’t just flautistic fireworks.” (Sequenza21).
Still has also served her profession as president of the National Flute Association (USA), and regularly contributes articles to flute journals across the globe. She plays a silver flute made for her by Brannen Brothers of Boston with gold or wooden headjoints by Sanford Drelinger of White Plains, New York. When her flute is in its case, Still is an avid motorcyclist, and she shares a daughter and two dogs with her husband.
Allie Yuying Su, PhD, has years of teaching and performing experience that have grown out of her training in Taiwan and as well as in the United States. After receiving a Bachelor of Music degree from Tung-Hai University in Taiwan in 2005, she came to the United States and completed her Master of Music degree in Piano Performance at Arizona State University. She studied there with well-known pianists Baruch Meir (solo performance) and Andrew Campbell (collaborative piano and chamber music). In 2008, Su was accepted for doctoral study at the University of Texas at Austin’s Butler School of Music of the new Collaborative Piano Department and was awarded a full assistantship. She graduated with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Collaborative Piano at the University of Texas at Austin in 2012.
As an educator, Su has been teaching piano since 2000. Her teaching ranges from private instruction of advanced students who have gone on to be accepted into the major conservatories in Taiwan, to music majors needing instruction in order to pass piano proficiency exams and non-music majors who have never played an instrument.
Su, a staff pianist at Oberlin Conservatory since 2012, also is an active collaborative pianist, chamber musician and vocal coach. In 2012, she was employed by the Butler Opera Center as a contracted coach/staff pianist for the Young Artist Program, and the Franco-American Vocal Academy. In the summer of 2013, she joined the vocal summer festival Lingua e Canto in Italy as a vocal coach. In the summer of 2014, she joined the ISING! Program in SuZhou, China, as a pianist. She is an alumnus of the prestigious Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara.
Chris Jenkins is a violist, educator, and administrator with an interest in the theory and practice of human rights, especially as they relate to equal access to music performance and education. He was deputy director and professor of viola and violin at the Barenboim-Said Foundation in Ramallah, West Bank, from 2013-14, and served as dean of the Sphinx Performance Academy, the Sphinx Organization’s summer music program for minority youth, for seven years.
Third-place laureate of the 2005 Sphinx Competition, Jenkins was the founding violist of SPA’s resident chamber ensemble, the Catalyst Quartet. In 2010, he was honored by Sphinx with the Sanford Allen Award in recognition of his professional achievements as dean.
As a performer, Jenkins has played with the New York Philharmonic and St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, toured with Diana Ross, and played on Broadway shows such as The Lion King and Les Miserables.
In 2011, Jenkins earned a master's degree from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, focusing on the study of human rights and conflict resolution. He has taught and performed in Palestine, Pakistan, Israel, China, Colombia, and South Africa.
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