BIOGRAPHY

Alexander-Richard Straus-Fausto is known for his exhilarating and innovative organ performances. He is currently a third-year undergraduate organ performance student of Hans-Ola Ericsson and formerly harpsichord performance and continuo with Hank Knox at McGill University, Schulich School of Music, class of 2022. In academic year 2020, Alexander received the John Grew award for organ performance. His former organ teachers are Christian Lane, Thomas Bara, Dr. Peter Nikiforuk, and Joe Carere. Straus-Fausto has a broad repertoire of music, dating from early fifteenth-century keyboard music to contemporary organ music, and he has completed over fifty original transcriptions of major orchestral works for organ. He is particularly passionate about musical freedom on the orchestral symphonic organ. He sees the organ as an orchestra with unlimited capabilities, being a personal palette for musical expression.
In September 2019, Alexander Straus-Fausto was appointed Titular Organist in Residence at the prestigious Église du Très-Saint-Nom-de-Jésus in Montreal, where he primarily accompanies the Sunday Mass, presiding over a landmark Casavant organ of 120 ranks and approximately 7000 pipes, originally the sixth largest organ in North-America and said by some to be 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, performing in major Churches and Cathedrals in London, Cambridge, Bury St. Edmunds, and King's Lynn (Norfolk), Great Britain. Straus-Fausto has been privileged to perform in several esteemed venues including Washington National Cathedral (Washington, DC), 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). 
At an early age, Straus-Fausto showed prodigious musical talent, being able to play by ear and write songs and improvise on themes before beginning his first lessons. Born in 2000, Straus-Fausto 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, Straus-Fausto has participated in lessons with today's most influential organ teachers. 
 
Straus-Fausto is most known for creative and diverse concert programs combining both improvisation and transcription of popular pieces, including Pop, Latin and Jazz, as well as being particularly passionate about the music of J.S. Bach and César Franck. 
Straus-Fausto is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. He has had the opportunity to be one of the few solo performers in Interlochen Arts Academy’s “Collage” as well as to accompany the Interlochen Orchestra in Ives'  "Three Places in New England". He was particularly thrilled to play the organ for the Interlochen project and composition of “Pilgrimages,” by Son Lux.
 
 
 
 
 
Photo by Camille Amathe
Awards and recognition:
2020:
John Grew Award for Organ Performance
2019: 
Tyler Swaren Scholarship, Matrix Solutions LLC
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 LLC
 
Award for Excellence in Character and Academics, Rotary Club of Traverse City, MI
 
Lorna and Murray Holmes Scholarship, Royal Canadian College of Organists
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
 

Église du Très-Saint-Nom-de-Jésus, where Alexander currently serves as the Titular Organist in residence.

                            © 2018 Alexander Richard Straus-Fausto