Contact: Salah Boukadoum
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Park City Club
5956 Sherry Lane
Suite 1700
Dallas, TX 75225
United States of America

Jacques Marquis will speak, and then introduce Alex, who was a 2013 Cliburn Competition competitor!

Jacques Marquis joined the Cliburn as president and CEO in March 2013 with outstanding expertise and a wealth of international music competition experience. Since then, he and his team have majorly expanded the Cliburn’s offerings and brand. New local concert series include the Cliburn Festival, the club series Cliburn Sessions, and the free Cliburn in the Community concerts. He also launched a third quadrennial international competition: the Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival, for 13- to 17-year-olds. The CLIBURN LIVE webcast initiative now produces live online broadcasts of more than 250 performances over a 4-year cycle, amassing over 8 million views in 170 countries. In education, the past eight years have seen the doubling of the Cliburn in the Classroom in-school education programs to 300 per year, as well as the creation of "Van Cliburn: an American Hero,” which tells the story of Van Cliburn to 12,000 4th graders each year in partnership with Performing Arts Fort Worth.

In 2020, the Cliburn quickly transitioned to primarily digital programming, creating several online series designed to inspire people of all ages with classical music. With initiatives such as Cliburn Kids (music education videos and lesson plans for elementary students) and Cliburn Masterpiece (deep dives into the greatest piano works), Cliburn videos amassed more than 1.2 million views in that extraordinary year, with more than 100,000 hours of music being watched across 100 countries. In addition to continuing to grow those programs, the Cliburn is currently deep in planning for all three of its international competitions—two of which were postponed due to the pandemic—which will now all take place over a 13-month time period: the sixteenth edition of the flagship Van Cliburn International Piano Competition (June 2022); the Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition (October 2022); and the Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival (June 2023). 

A bilingual executive with degrees in business administration and music, he previously served as executive and artistic director of Jeunesses Musicales Canada, where he was instrumental in establishing the Montreal International Musical Competition and oversaw 11 editions of that competition.

Alex McDonald will be the featured Cliburn pianist.

Alex McDonald bio:

Since his orchestral debut at age 11, pianist Alex McDonald has soloed with the Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de Mexico, the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and the Utah Symphony Orchestra, among others. He has performed across the United States as well as in Israel, Mexico, Canada, Japan, and South Korea; additionally, he has been a featured performer on PBS, WRR (Dallas/Fort Worth), NPR, and WQXR (New York City). Awards include second prizes at the 2007 New Orleans International Piano Competition and 2001 Gina Bachauer International Young Artist Piano Competition, and 2008 Harvey Fellowship by the Mustard Seed Foundation. In 2013, he was a participant in the Fourteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

Dr. McDonald is currently the festival director for Basically Beethoven, a thriving summer concert series in downtown Dallas’ Arts District. He has taught at Texas Woman’s University, Richland College, and The Juilliard School, where he also was a Teaching Fellow for both the Literature and Materials and Piano Minor departments. 

Mr. McDonald received his pre-college training under Lois Nielson, his bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory with Academic Honors and Distinction in Performance under Russell Sherman, and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Juilliard under Yoheved Kaplinsky and Julian Martin.