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Alexander Richard Straus-Fausto is known for his exhilarating and innovative organ performances. Alexander is currently a candidate for Master of Music in Organ Performance at Yale University, Institute of Sacred Music, studying under Dr. Martin Jean. Alexander is a graduate of McGill University, Schulich School of Music, class of 2022. His organ teachers and mentors include Dr. Alcee Chriss, Hans-Ola Ericsson, Dr. Jonathan Oldengarm, Rachel Laurin, Christian Lane, Thomas Bara, Dr. Peter Nikiforuk, and Joe Carere. Alexander has a broad repertoire of music, dating from early fifteenth-century keyboard music to contemporary organ music. He is a member of The Diapason’s “20 under 30 Class of 2023,” which recognizes young artists under the age of 30 who have made significant contributions to the fields of organ performance, harpsichord, and church music.
Alexander serves as the Director of Music for the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, which has a semi-professional choir. As well, he is Director of Music at Holy Advent Episcopal Church in Clinton, CT. At Yale, Alexander also teaches secondary organ. From 2019-2022, Alexander was Titular Organist in Residence at Église du Très-Saint-Nom-de-Jésus in Montreal, presiding over a landmark Casavant organ of 120 ranks and approximately 7000 pipes, one of the finest and largest in the nation. As of September 2019, he was also accompanist for the McGill University Chorus.
Through the assistance of a Canada Council for the Arts Grant, he completed a recital tour in the summer of 2019, while still a teenager, performing in major Churches and Cathedrals in Great Britain. He has been privileged to perform in several esteemed venues, including Woolsey Hall at Yale (New Haven, CT), Washington National Cathedral (Washington, DC), Trinity Church Wall Street (New York, NY), Maison Symphonique (Montreal, QC), The Cathedral Church of St. James (Toronto, ON), Kings Lynn Minster/St. Margaret's Church (Norfolk, UK), St. Edmundsbury Cathedral (Bury St. Edmunds, UK), Great St. Mary's (Cambridge, UK), St. Paul's Bloor Street (Toronto, ON) and Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica (Quebec, QC). With help from the Centennial Millennium Fund of the New York City Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, Alexander co-founded Festiv'Orgue in Montreal, which succeeded in bringing a new audience to the organ. He produced three concerts a year in this series, using large downtown churches' historic symphonic organs, focusing on rock, pop, and Christmas themes.
Born in 2000, Alexander began his musical studies at age four on piano, started improvising on the organ at age eight, and began organ lessons at age fourteen. Since then, he has participated in lessons with today's most influential organ teachers.
Alexander is also a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan.
2023 highlights include performances at Trinity Church Wall Street in Manhattan, NY; Basilica National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.; and the closing concert of the MusOrgue Festival of the Organ at St. James United Church, Montreal (a program of music written by women and Canadians). In 2023, he was also a semifinalist in The Longwood Gardens International Organ Competition, a prizewinner in the Royal Canadian College of Organists' (RCCO) National Competition, and a participant in Wesleyan University’s celebration of Wagner’s music transcribed for the organ.
Photo by Tam Lan Troung
Awards and Recognitions:
2023: Godfrey Hewitt Memorial Scholarship, Royal Canadian College of Organists
20 Under 30, The Diapason
2022: Outstanding Achievement in Organ Performance, McGill University
Barrie Cabena Scholarship, RCCO
2021: John Grew Award for Organ Performance,
McGill University, Enriched Educational Opportunity for Performance, Longwood Gardens Organ Academy
St. George Scholarship, RCCO
2020: John Grew Award for Organ Performance, McGill University
2019: Tyler Swaren Scholarship, Matrix Solutions
Canada Council for the Arts Grant, for performance tour to the United Kingdom
McGill University, Enriched Educational Opportunity for Performance, Washington National Cathedral
2018: Tyler Swaren Scholarship, Matrix Solutions
Award for Excellence in Character and Academics, Rotary Club of Traverse City, MI
RCCO, Lorna and Murray Holmes Scholarship
2017: Mary and Donald Gonzales Memorial Scholarship for Merit, Interlochen Center for the Arts
2016: Mary and Donald Gonzales Memorial Scholarship for Merit, Interlochen Center for the Arts
First Prize, Young Artist Competition, American Guild of Organists, Buffalo Chapter
Background photo by Camille Amathé
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