Alexander Paley is widely recognized for his exceptionally broad and extensive repertoire of concerti and solo piano works, his dazzling technical prowess, and his convincing, personal interpretations.
The Washington Post called Paley’s 1991 debut with the National Symphony a “flawless performance”, and since then he has earned similar accolades for performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Pops, Aspen Festival Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, and the St. Louis, San Diego, Utah, Colorado, Milwaukee, Seattle, and Syracuse Symphony Orchestras. In the 1996–97 season, he made his Carnegie Hall debut with the American Composers Orchestra in the world premiere of a new concerto by Sheila Silver. The New York Times wrote, “The pianist…played like a man possessed.”
A favorite of audiences in Washington DC, Mr. Paley gives a recital annually, including the complete Mozart Solo Sonatas in 2004 and an all-Liszt concert broadcast on WETA’s “Front Row Washington” in 2011.
Born in Chișinău (Kishiniev), Moldova, Mr. Paley won the National Music Competition of Moldova at the age of sixteen. Subsequently, he studied at the Moscow Conservatory with Bella Davidovich and Vera Gornostayeva, completing his graduate work in 1981. He won First Prize at the Leipzig International Bach Competition in 1984, the Bösendorfer Prize in 1986, the Grand Prix at the first International Pancho Vladigerov Competition in 1986, the Grand Prix Young Artist Debut in 1988, First Prize at Alex de Vries in 1990 and Les Victoires de la Musique Classique in 2006.
Mr. Paley performs extensively throughout Europe and China. The year 2011 marked the 20th anniversary of Mr. Paley’s festival at the Moulin d’Andé in Normandy, a weeklong series of recitals, lieder and chamber music concerts. In August 1998, Mr. Paley created an annual festival in Richmond, Virginia, which has drawn popular and critical acclaim for its bold programming and brilliant performances.
Mr. Paley’s highly unusual discography includes the complete solo piano works of Balakirev; works by Scriabin and Weber; cello and piano sonatas by Chopin and Rachmaninoff with Alexandre Dmitriev; the Liszt transcription of Beethoven’s Septet; the world premier recording of Giovanni Sgambati’s piano concerto with the Orchestre Philharmonique Montpellier; Anton Rubinstein’s Piano Concerti Nos. 2 and 4 with the Russian State Orchestra; the Sheila Silver piano concerto with the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra; works by Jean-Louis Agobet with the Pro Philharmonique Orchestre of Strasbourg. Mr. Paley has recorded a series of CDs on the Blüthner label, including “10 pieces from Romeo and Juliet and 2 Suites from Cinderella by Prokofiev”, “Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms and Bartel”, “Chopin”, “Bach: Goldberg Variations,” “Bach: the Well-Tempered Clavier“, and also a DVD titled ” Blüthner Soirée with Alexander Paley featuring Schubert/Liszt Song Transcriptions. His newest releases are Enesco cello sonatas with Alexandre Dmitriev, complete J. P. Rameau works for clavicin (first complete recording on piano), complete violin sonatas of Enesco with Amiram Ganz and Tchaikovsky’s Grand Sonata in G major and complete Seasons.