In addition to his songwriting and cabaret performance career with his wife, Jennie Litt, David Alpher is an internationally-recognized art song/chamber music composer whose works have been performed by Garrison Keillor, Carol Wincenc, the Manhattan String Quartet, An die Musik, Flute Force, The New Jersey Chamber Music Society, Robert Osborne, Christopheren Nomura, Drew Minter, D’Anna Fortunato, Douglas Riva, Lila Deis and many others. David Alpher’s compositions are unique, eclectic mixtures of influences including jazz, American folksong, theater music and the classical tradition.
His multimedia work Las Meninas: Variations, inspired by Velázquez and Picasso paintings, has been performed on at least 30 occasions, in such diverse locales as Finland, Spain, Brazil, Zion National Park, and Harvard University. Both The Walrus and the Carpenter, a jazz-influenced setting of the Lewis Carroll poem, and Land of the Farther Suns, an idiosyncratic journey for narrator, four flutes and piano through ten Stephen Crane poems, were finalists in the National Flute Association’s Newly Published Music Competition. The Warus and the Carpenter will have another of its many international performances in November 2014, this time in Istanbul, Turkey.
On Recordings, American Reflections: David Alpher Chamber Music (Ongaku Records) contains five Alpher works. Land of the Farther Suns is available on the Flute Force CD Eyewitness (Innova), narrated by Garrison Keillor with Alpher at the piano. His compositions have been printed by Hofmeister Verlag, Brixton Publications, New Boston Editions, Michigan State University Press, and Kripplebush Publishing Co. Mr. Alpher’s compositions have been broadcast on WGBH and WBUR, Boston, and WNYC, New York. He is a member of ASCAP. Mr. Alpher’s works can be heard on the Ongaku, Center Stage, and Innova labels. The recorded Volume I of Alpher/Litt original songs, Two Apples, is available on Amazon, CD Baby, and iTunes.
David Alpher founded and co-directed the Rockport Chamber Music Festival in Massachusetts, now in its 33rd season. He also founded and directed the Chamber Arts Festival of Marbletown. On the CD American Dreamer: Songs of Stephen Foster (Angel), he collaborated as pianist and co-arranger with Thomas Hampson, Jay Ungar and Molly Mason. This ensemble performed at Tanglewood and at the Great Performers at Lincoln Center series; in a nationally-telecast PBS concert with Marilyn Horne, Dawn Upshaw, the late Jerry Hadley and Harolyn Blackwell; and on German television. From 1985 to 1996, Mr. Alpher was musical director of the Gloucester Stage Company, and from 1975 to 1980, he was musical director of New York’s Allnations Dance Company. Currently he is a collaborative pianist/ vocal coach at Vassar College.
A native of Washington, D.C., David Alpher graduated with High Distinction from the Indiana University School of Music in 1968. He studied piano with Menahem Pressler and the late Jeaneane Dowis, and was a resident fellow at The MacDowell Colony and at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.