Alex Kollias, Clarinet
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Alex Kollias

clarinet

Alex Kollias, Clarinet

Alexander S. Kollias made his New York City solo debut in 2011 at the National Association of Composers USA. Kollias has performed across the world in venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Winter Garden, in the World Financial Center, in New York, the Yokosuka Arts Theatre in Japan, and Harpa in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Kollias can be heard playing on two previously released CD’s with the Grand Valley State University New Music EnsembleMusic for 18 Musicians and In C Remixed, both receiving much critical acclaim. As a part of the GVSU New Music Ensemble, he performed at the 2007 Bang on a Can Marathon in New York. In 2009 he performed In C at Carnegie Hall in an ensemble organized and presented by the Kronos Quartet and Terry Riley.

In 2012, Kollias was a winner of the Paranov Concerto Competition with his performance of Scott McAllister’s Black Dog. In 2011 Kollias won the Sewanee Summer Music Festival concerto competition and performed the Mozart Clarinet Concerto with the Sewanee Festival Orchestra. Kollias made his New York City solo debut in 2011 at the National Association of Composers USA. In 2007 he performed Mendelssohn’s Concert Piece No. 2, Op. 114 with Dr. Campbell, and won the university’s concerto competition in 2009. Most recently Kollias was an invited competitor to the 2014 Jacques Lancelot International Clarinet Competition.

An active chamber musician, Kollias is the principal clarinetist for the Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra. Kollias performs regularly with the OptiKord Trio, a woodwind trio based out of Hartford, Connecticut. Kollias also performs with oboist Ling Chun Yeh, as a member of The R3EDS.

Along with performing, Kollias has a continuous commitment to pedagogy. His students range from young beginners to advanced and university students. His young students compete at the district and state levels. Many of his young students continue their clarinet studies at the collegiate level.

Kollias is currently studying with the highly regarded clarinetist and pedagogue, Ayako Oshima, while pursuing a Doctorate of Music degree at The Hartt School. A former student of the internationally acclaimed clarinetist Dr. Arthur Campbell, Kollias graduated with honors from Grand Valley State University, in Michigan, with a degree in music education and performance.

Teaching Philosophy

Music is an extension of self, and thus an extension of humanity. Music provides both pleasure and requires extensive work. This provides two true statements. One: every student can experience enjoyment through music. Two: music is a natural part of the student.

It is important to always begin from these two principles when teaching. I always work to have my students begin from what is natural. The clarinet is then inserted into these natural movements, or positions. One should not manipulate around the clarinet in such a way that is promoting unnatural movements or tensions. This allows for greater flexibility and precision of the embouchure, jaw, tongue, and fingers. This flexibility of the body allows for a greater spectrum of tone color and depth of sound. I always work to have my students become independent musicians. I work to provide them with the tools to always be able to answer the questions of What they are doing, How they achieve it, and most importantly Why they want/need to achieve it.