Alexander Meszler wins Gruenstein Award

March 11, 2020
Alexander Meszler
Alexander Meszler

The Diapason has announced that Alexander Meszler is the winner of the first Gruenstein Award. The award recognizes excellence in scholarship and writing by a young person who has not reached their 35th birthday. Meszler's entry will be the feature article of the May issue of The Diapason.

Alexander Meszler is an organist named one of The Diapason’s “20 under 30.” His performances and research aim to inspire new perspectives on the organ and its capabilities beyond the liturgy. With Kimberly Marshall, he co-created “Walls of Sound: The Ecology of the Borderlands," which brought together collaborators from across the disciplines of music, science, theater, art, and activism. This project was funded in-part by the Foundation for Contemporary Arts out of New York City.

As a Fulbright Scholar, Alexander spent a year in Versailles, France, to research secularism and the organ and to study with Jean-Baptiste Robin at the Conservatoire à Royonnement Régional de Versailles. A strong advocate of music by living composers, Alexander currently serves as a member of the American Guild of Organists’ Committee on New Music. He has collaborated with composers Huw Morgan, Hon Ki Cheung, and George Katehis on the premiere of their organ works. He has been a finalist in several performance competitions and, in 2016, he won second prize at the Westchester University Organ Competition.

In 2018, he was awarded a grant from the Ruth and Clarence Mader Memorial Scholarship Fund for his ongoing project, “The Organ and Secularized Churches: Church Brewpubs of the Rust Belt Region.” In 2017, he was awarded a substantial grant from the Arizona Center for Renaissance and Medieval Studies for a project titled, “Crossroads for the Organ in the Twenty-First Century: A Precedent for Secularism in the First Decades of Sixteenth-Century Print Culture.” His interdisciplinary research and performances have been included at the National Convention of the American Guild of Organists, the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the American Musicological Society, the Westfield Center for Historical Keyboard Studies, the Historical Keyboard Society of North America, the European Association for the Study of Religion, and the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.

In 2020, Alexander completed his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree at Arizona State University under Kimberly Marshall. He finished his Master’s in Organ Performance and Music Theory at the University of Kansas where he studied organ with Michael Bauer and James Higdon and his Bachelor’s in organ with Kola Owolabi while at Syracuse University.

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