Alex Peh is a pianist, improviser and scholar who explores the piano in global classical, contemporary, and improvised practices. A 2021 Fulbright Global Scholar, Peh explores contemporary piano repertoire, finding new approaches to tuning, pedagogy, notation and musical transmission. He has commissioned composers Anna Clyne, Susie Ibarra, Hafez Modirzadeh, Phyllis Chen, Ne Myo Aung, Nikos Ordoulidis, and Kyaw Kyaw Naing funded by National Endowment for the Arts, New Music USA, New York State. Council of the Arts, Harvard FROMM, Arts Mid-Hudson, Asian Cultural Council and Fulbright.
Peh is a member of Talking Gong, an improvising trio with percussionist, Susie Ibarra and flutist, Claire Chase. They released their debut album in 2019 entitled Talking Gong on New Focus Recordings available on all major streaming platforms. As a trio, they made their debut performance as part of the Davenport Residency for New American Music at SUNY New Paltz, and shortly after made their New York City debut at BRIC at the Look and Listen Festival 2018. They have since performed throughout NYC at Public Theater, Roulette Intermedium, The Stone, and Carnegie Zankel Hall in a celebration of Pauline Oliveros at 90.
As a 2019 Asian Cultural Council fellow, Peh travelled to Yangon, Myanmar to study Burmese piano, a classical style that the Burmese call Sandaya, from legendary pianist Dr. U Yee Nwe. Peh began his studies in Sandaya from Kyaw Kyaw Naing and collaborated with him to create the first Burmese Saing Waing ensemble in America, comprising students, faculty and community members at SUNY New Paltz. In 2019, they made their debut performance at Roulette Intermedium, New York City, performing a new composition that Kyaw Kyaw Naing composed for the group entitled Growing Rhythm. He collaborated with visual anthropologist Lauren Meeker to document this work as an ethnographic film, Growing Rhythm, that explores the process of attunement in learning Burmese Saing Waing music.
Peh earned his doctorate in piano performance from Indiana University where he mentored with Arnaldo Cohen, Menahem Pressler and Evelyne Brancart. He pursued undergraduate studies at Northwestern University where he worked with Sylvia Wang. He attended the Banff, Aspen and Tanglewood music festivals where he studied with Emanuel Ax, Pamela Frank, Claude Frank, Ignat Solzhenitsyn, and Peter Serkin. He is an associate professor of piano at SUNY New Paltz.
A new solo piano composition by Anna Clyne dedicated to Alex Peh. Recording @ Oktaven studios
A new solo piano composition by Ne Myo Aung inspired by Burmese Sandaya style piano
Complete Liszt transcriptions of Schubert's Winterreise for solo piano. Indiana University.
Solo arrangements of Facets, National Sawdust NYC
American premiere of Pooyan Azadeh's Ba Yadash in homage to his teacher, Persian classical pianist, Javad Maroufi
Talking Gong album
A debut trio album featuring percussionist and composer Susie Ibarra, pianist Alex Peh, and flutist Claire Chase. New Focus Recordings, 2021.
Roulette Intermedium, NYC
Our first show, live-streamed from Roulette Intermedium after COVID-19 Pandemic. Featuring special guest, Senem Pirler. Talking Gong, Messaien La Merle Noir, Pauline Oliveros The Witness.
Talking Gong Album Release
Album release party streamed featuring Cliare Chase, Alex Peh, Susie Ibarra.
Thway Tala: Kyo Song
From the Burmese Mahagita royal compendium of traditional piano pieces. Learned by ear from U Thet oo, pianist and teacher.
Piece of Minds
World premiere performance of Nikos Ordoulidis' Piece of Minds. National Sawdust, NYC.