Alyssa May Schwartz

Alyssa May Schwartz

Dr. Alyssa Schwartz comes from Jamestown, New York and is the Director of Bands and Professor of Flute and Musicology at Fairmont State University, Director of the Morgantown Community Orchestra, Development Coordinator for Black Diamond Philharmonic, and Senior Instructor of Flute and Piano through West Virginia University’s Community Music Program. Previously, she has served as Contributing Faculty in Flute at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA and as a Lecturer of Music Theory and Music Education at West Virginia University. She debuted at New York City’s Carnegie Hall in November 2017 and returned for a second performance the same month as a result of winning 1st prize in the 2017 Golden Classical Music International Competition and 2nd Prize in the 2017 Concert Artists International Music Competition. As a recording artist, Alyssa has released two albums with her flute quartet, BETA, in 2017 and received her first multiple-CD recording grant from Polyphony Arts Management in 2020. This three-year project will see the release of her debut solo album in 2023 and a concerto album in 2024 and will include the premiere recordings of a newly commissioned Sonata and Concerto by award-winning composer Dr. Daniel Baldwin.

Alyssa is a competitive performer, winning 1st Prize in the 2020 International Music Competition- Bonn, for which she was invited to perform at Beethoven’s Bonn residence in August 2021, the 2019 Florida Flute Association Orchestral Excerpts Masterclass Competition, 1st Prize in the 2017 International Grand Prize Virtuoso Competition Senior Division for which she gave her debut performance at the Wiener Saal Mozarteum in July 2017, 2nd Prize in the 2016 International Grand Prize Virtuoso Competition, 2nd Prize in the 2016 Golden Classical Music Awards Senior Division, 3rd Prize in the 2016 Golden Classical Music Awards Chamber Music Division, 1st Prize in the 2016 Oklahoma Flute Society Collegiate Competition, 3rd Prize in the 2016 Kentucky Flute Society Due Competition, and 2nd Prize in the 2013 International Flute Symposium Emerging Artist Competition.

A new music advocate, Alyssa is passionate about premiering new music with a focus in exploring interdisciplinary music. Recently, she partnered with Cambridge-based physicist and composer Domenico Vicinanza, premiering his new work “Voyager I” at the 2023 SXSW Conference on March 9th, 2023 in Austin, Texas and previously premiering his “Veteran Geyser” for a BBC Documentary on November 5, 2020. Vicinanza records and translates raw hard data from the natural world in order to create his concert pieces, a process he used not only in these two pieces but also in creating two ringtones and a short piece for NASA, taking data from the first audio recording of a Marsquake. Alyssa recorded the ringtones and piece for NASA in October 2020, and these were included and premiered during NASA’s Virtual SC20 Conference.

In addition to these most recent projects, Alyssa has given world premieres of over thirty new works including twenty new compositions for flute quartet in an ICU Benefit Concert with BETA (March 2022), “Marcahuasi” for Solo Flute, Op. 10 by Manuel Carranza Cueto (December 2019), “Impression” by Reza Nakisa (January 2018), “Endless Endless Endless” by Shelley Washington (May 2017) and “Asphyxia” by Nicole Chamberlain (April 2016). With BETA Quartet, she has premiered “Nuraghi Warriors” by Anže Rozman (February 2019), “Recitation Book” by David Maslanka, arranged for flute quartet by Tatiana Cassetta (February 2019), and “In Sight” by Matthew Heap (March 2018).

A founding member of BETA Quartet, Alyssa has participated in many competitions, performances, and masterclasses for chamber ensemble. The group won 1st Prize in the 2020 France Music Competition, was selected to perform at the 2020 International Low Flute Festival in Japan, participated as a semi-finalist in the 2017 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, won 1st Prize in the 2017 Kentucky Flute Society Quartet Competition, and won 1st Prize in the 2016 WV MTNA Chamber Winds Competition. BETA has also given masterclasses, coaching sessions, and workshops around the country, including the National Flute Association Convention, Flute Society of Greater Philadelphia Flute Fair, and Mid-Atlantic Flute Convention.

A serious academician and scholar, Alyssa has also earned numerous scholarships throughout her career, including the Helga Hulse Mozart Club Music Scholarship in 2012 and 2016, the West Virginia University Student Memorial Scholarship in 2012, the A. A. Amidon Scholarship in 2012 and 2013, the Walter & Grace Hazzard Scholarship in 2012 and 2013, the Louis T. Larson Scholarship in 2012 and 2013, the Juliet Anderson Rosch Scholarship in 2012 and 2013, the West Virginia University Music Scholarship in 2012, the Michigan State University Music Scholarship from 2006-2010, the National Honors College Scholarship Award from 2006-2010, and the CCMTA Overall Best Musician Award in 2006.

Employed as the Assistant Director of the International Flute Symposium in 2013, Alyssa was promoted the following year to the position of Director. She served as Director throughout her employment at West Virginia University until 2019 and was a driving force in the promotion and growth of IFS and recruitment of flute students for the WVU Flute Studio. Alyssa helped foster the growth and success of IFS by hosting renowned international soloist Jasmine Choi for the International Flute Symposium in July 2017.

Alyssa has appeared as a featured soloist in 2017 with the West Virginia University Wind Symphony and on several occasions with the Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony. She has performed as the principal flute with Black Diamond Philharmonic, Allegheny Chamber Players, the West Virginia University Symphony Orchestra, the West Virginia University Chamber Orchestra, the West Virginia University Faculty Chamber Players, and the Brasil Jazz Ensemble. She has also performed with the River Cities Symphony Orchestra, BETA Quartet, Erie Chamber Orchestra, Warren Philharmonic Orchestra, and Lansing Symphony Orchestra.

A dedicated and successful private studio teacher, Alyssa is employed by the WVU Community Music Program as a Senior Instructor of Flute and Piano and has maintained a thriving virtual flute studio since 2018.

Her primary teachers include Alberto Almarza of Carnegie Mellon University, Nina Assimakopoulos of West Virginia University, Richard Sherman of Michigan State University, Dr. Susan Royal of Fredonai State University, and Nicole Zenns. Alyssa has performed for such renowned flutists as Jim Walker, Jeffrey Khaner, Lorna McGhee, Trudy Kane, Jeffrey Zook, Gary Schocker, Jennifer Conner, Rhian Kenny, Nancy Stagnitta, Shelley Binder, and Cobus Du Toit.

You can find Alyssa’s 2023 Spring Music Competition flute performance here.