He is in his third season as Principal Conductor of Italy's Rome Philharmonic Orchestra, with which he will record Puccini's Il Tabarro. Highlights of recent seasons include conducting engagements in Europe, the United States, and South America (including conducting the Rio de Janeiro Philharmonic in the world premieres of James Helme Sutcliffe's Night Music and Naji Hakim's Hymne de l'Univers), and concert tours as pianist and organist in Asia, Europe, and North America. He gave the first public performances of the complete solo piano works of Leonard Bernstein, and his playing of that cycle in Berlin and Hong Kong featured the European and Asian premieres of the Sonata for Piano. Frey also performed the world premiere of Erich Wolfgang Korngold's Four Waltzes in Berlin.
His discography includes the complete piano works of Bernstein, the first volume of the complete piano works of Korngold (both on the Koch International Classics label), and a recording of virtuoso organ music for Delos Records (release in preparation). Mr. Frey is also piano soloist on the recent best-selling Decca/London recording of Korngold's Between Two Worlds with John Mauceri conducting the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, acclaimed by Fi Magazine as one of the best classical music recordings of the year.
A resident of Berlin, he was for three seasons Music Director of the Berliner Ensemble (founded by Bertolt Brecht) where he collaborated with the celebrated stage director Peter Zadek. Frey was the first American to hold this position and his notable predecessors include the composers Kurt Weill, Hanns Eisler, and Paul Dessau.
He has led productions at the Edinburgh International Festival (where he was awarded a Critics' Prize), the Vienna Festwochen, the Holland Festival, and the Fifth European Festival at Recklinghausen. He restored and conducted the score to Vittorio De Sica's film "Miracolo e Milano" in the Teatro La Fenice at the Venice Festival. Mr. Frey made his debut in Israel conducting the Ensemble Europa (composed of members of the Israel Philharmonic and Deutsche Oper orchestras) in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Berlin as part of the official events commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the end of World War II. He recently conducted Verdi's Otello with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra at the Cairo Opera House. An hour-long radio program devoted to Frey's life and work, hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Studs Terkel, aired last year in the United States.
As pianist and organist, Alexander Frey performs with many of the world's leading orchestras
and conductors. Recent engagements include concerts with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the
Berlin Philharmonic, the Deutsches Sinfonie Orchester, the orchestra of the Teatro Regio in
Turin, the radio symphony orchestras of Berlin and Vienna, and the Brandenburg Chamber
Orchestra, conducted by John Mauceri, Claudio Abbado, and others. He frequently serves as
assistant conductor to Maestro Mauceri. As a chamber musician, Mr. Frey has performed with
violinist Ruggiero Ricci, the Vermeer Quartet, violist Donald McInnes and members of the
Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He studied piano with Gavin Williamson of Chicago and received
Bachelor and Master of Music degrees with honors from the University of Michigan, where he
studied organ with Robert Glasgow and conducting with Gustav Meier.