Alexander Hersh, cello

Since making his Symphony Hall debut with the Boston Pops in 2015, cellist Alexander Hersh has quickly established himself as a rising young talent. He has received numerous awards both as a soloist and as a chamber musician, including first prizes at the 2017 New York International Artists Association Competition, 2017 Luminarts Classical Music Fellowship, 2017 Borromeo String Quartet Guest Artist Award, the 2016 Schadt String Competition, 2016 Jefferson Symphony International Young Artists Competition, the 2016 Hellam Young Artist Competition, 2015 Boston Pops/New England Conservatory Competition, Society of American Musicians, the Saint Paul String Quartet Competition, the Jules M. Laser National Chamber Music Competition, the Chicago National Chamber Music Competition, and is a three time winner of the New England Conservatory Honors Competition.

The Musiq3 critics of the RTBF Belgian Radio company gave Hersh’s performance at the inaugural Queen Elisabeth Cello Competition in Belgium in 2017 a rave review: “The evening session allowed us to hear the American Alexander Hersh (23 years old) on the already well-filled list. With his scenic presence and charm, Hersh has everything to become the darling of the public.”

He has been invited to festivals worldwide including: Marlboro, Caramoor, Ravinia Steans Music Institute, Music@Menlo, I-M-S Prussia Cove, Perlman Music Program Chamber Music Workshop, Piatigorsky International Cello Festival, Amsterdam Cello Biennial, Kneisel Hall, Lucerne, New York String Orchestra Seminar, Domaine Forget, and the Meadowmount School of Music.

Season highlights have included his Carnegie Weill Hall debut, a “Three-generation” Hersh Trio performance of the Beethoven Triple Concerto with the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, a performance of the Brahms Double Concerto with the DuPage Symphony Orchestra, as well as recital and chamber music appearances in New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Penzance (England), Blonay (Switzerland), and Berlin (Germany).

In August of 2018, Hersh will launch the inaugural season of Nexus Chamber Music Chicago, a festival dedicated to the mission of deconstructing the traditional barrier between audience and performer. Nexus Chamber Music Chicago will present first-class musical events in intimate, and sometimes unconventional venues in and around the city of Chicago.

A 4th generation string player, Alexander’s parents, Stefan and Roberta, are both active professional violinists. His grandfather, Paul Hersh, is professor of viola and piano at San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and his great grandfather, Ralph Hersh, was a member of the WQXR and Stuyvesant String Quartets, and principal violist of the Dallas and Atlanta Symphony Orchestras.

Raised in Chicago, Alexander Hersh began playing the cello at the age of 5. He studied with Steve Balderston and Hans Jørgen Jensen, and attended the Academy at the Music Institute of Chicago. Hersh received his B.M. from New England Conservatory (with academic honors) where he was a student of Laurence Lesser and recipient of the Clara M. Friedlaender Scholarship. In May of 2017, he received his M.M. from New England Conservatory where he studied under the tutelage of Paul Katz and Kim Kashkashian. Hersh is a recipient of the Frank Huntington Beebe fund for studies in Berlin during the 2017 – 2018 academic year where he studies with Nicolas Altstaedt at Hanns Eisler Hochschule for Musik Berlin. He plays a G.B. Rogeri cello on generous loan from a sponsor through Darnton & Hersh Fine Violins in Chicago, IL.