NEWS New Appointment of Alexandre Da Costa to Head of Strings, WAAPA

This News Article first appeared on the WAAPA News Website on the Thursday, 24th July 2014

Internationally Acclaimed Violinist Appointed to be WAAPA’s Head of Strings

“He is a musician of the highest international quality… Alexandre Da Costa is one of the very few true young rising stars of the violin scene worldwide.”
– Hansjoerg Schellenberger (solo oboist, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Chief Conductor, Okoyama Philharmonic Orchestra)
“He has a virtuoso technique and a huge sound, plus passion, commitment and musicality in equal measure. This is a major talent.”
– Hugh Wolff (Chief Conductor, Frankfurt Radio Orchestra)
“Prodigious technique, beautiful sound and above all a direct, expressive and very varied musicality… we are in front of one of the great violinists of today.”
– Ramon Avello (El Comercio Digital, Spain)

The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) is proud to announce the appointment of award-winning Canadian Violin Soloist and Educator, Alexandre Da Costa, to the position of Associate Professor, Classical Performance. Alex will commence his tenure at WAAPA in January 2015 but will be visiting Perth to perform a showcase concert in the Music Auditorium on Saturday, 16 August and to assist with WAAPA’s student recruitment activities for its 2015 intake into the Classical Music program.

Needless to say WAAPA is thrilled to have Alexandre Da Costa bringing his wealth of academic and performance experience to the Classical Music program and Alex is just as thrilled to be making the move to Western Australia.

“It is with so much enthusiasm that I am joining the faculty of WAAPA. I know that Perth will become my own little paradise where I will be able to help a new generation of string players achieve their goals and professionally live with music daily. The city of Perth is such an inspiration thanks to its beauty and charm, and from the first moment I arrived I knew that my connection to the land of Australia and the West Coast in particular was one that would be very special. Working with the wonderful team of WAAPA will be a joy, and together we shall build one of the strongest string programs in the Asia-Pacific region.”

Winner of the 2012 Juno Award, Alexandre Da Costa was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Alex has lived and breathed music his entire life. At the age of nine, he performed his first concerts with stunning virtuosity on both violin and piano, which brought him recognition as a musical prodigy.

At age 18, he obtained a Masters Degree in violin and a First Prize from the Conservatoire de Musique du Québec. Concurrently, he also obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Interpretation from the University of Montreal. Subsequently, told he had to choose one instrument, he studied in Madrid at the Escuela Superior de Musica Reina Sofia with a legendary violin teacher who became his mentor, Zakhar Bron (whose previous students famously include the likes of Maxim Vengerov and Vadim Repin). He later pursued post-graduate studies at the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst of Vienna, Austria. Among the many other prizes that followed were the Sylva Gelber Foundation Award from the Canada Council for the Arts, and in 2003 the Council’s Musical Instrument Bank decided to go further and award him the 1689 Baumgartner Stradivarius. In 2010, he received the prestigious Virginia-Parker Prize, one of Canada¹s highest cultural distinctions. Winner of many national and international first prizes, Alexandre Da Costa has given over a thousand concerts and recitals throughout North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. He has performed the major halls of Vienna (Musikverein), Berlin (Philharmonie), New York (Carnegie Hall), Beijing (Poly-Theater) and beyond.

As a recording artist, he has more than 20 CDs on, variously, Warner Classics, JVC/Victor, ATMA, XXI-21 Records and Octave/Universal. In 2012 he won the JUNO award for Classical Album of the Year for his recording of the concertos by American composer Michael Daugherty, with the Montreal Symphony under Pedro Halffter for Warner Classics. He now records for Warner Classics International and Acacia Classics/Universal Music Group.

In addition to his international concert schedule, Alexandre Da Costa has held the position of Professor of violin at the Gatineau Music Conservatory (Ottawa, Canada) and regularly gives masterclasses at various universities and conservatories around the world. He was also named Musical Development Director for Canimex, a company gathering an impressive collection of fine instruments for the benefit of talented artists, as well as Artistic Director of the Laurentians Classical Festival of Canada. Alexandre Da Costa now plays a “Guarneri del Gesù” of 1730 and a Sartory bow, loaned by Canimex.

To view performance footage of Alex please visit YouTube or visit the Alexandre Da Costa website.

“I couldn’t take my eyes off him. I had goose-bumps. He’s so full of energy and zest he’s dynamic, absolutely and inspirational. His teaching comments were relevant, easy-to-understand, positive and nurturing Alex is the perfect teacher.” – Natalie Mandry (BMus3)
“I was totally overwhelmed by the power and character of his playing.” – Amberlie Boyd (BMus2)

WAAPA is now taking applications for its 2015 intake. To apply online or find out more about WAAPA’s Classical Music Program, please visit the WAAPA Courses and Admissions web pages. Additionally, the WAAPA Open Day at ECU Mount Lawley is on Sunday, 10 August from 10.00am to 3.00pm where you can access a variety of course information for all WAAPA and ECU courses.

If you are interest in Classical Music at WAAPA, Alexandre will be performing at an introductory concert with Pianist David Wickham

Event details
Date: Saturday, 16 August 2014
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: WAAPA Music Auditorium, ECU, 2 Bradford St, Mount Lawley
Bookings: If you would like to attend this concert please contact Tim White, Lecturer in Music ASAP via email or telephone 0478 630 900, as places are limited.