Alexandra Hawley is one of America's outstanding flutists, hailed by the New York Times for her "extraordinary range of tone and color" and "spontaneous, perceptive musical sensitivity.” The daughter of two preeminent woodwind players - Alexander Williams, principal clarinetist of the NBC Symphony and celebrated flutist Frances Blaisdell - Alexandra Hawley studied flute with the distinguished teachers Murray Panitz of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Jean-Pierre Rampal.
Ms. Hawley launched her professional career in two of the world's more prominent concert halls: she made her European debut at Amsterdam’s famed Concertgebouw and her American debut at Carnegie Recital Hall in New York City. Since then she has performed throughout the United States as a recitalist, in chamber music ensembles, and as soloist with chamber orchestras. Concert performances and a recording with the legendary flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal remain highlights of her varied career.
Alexandra Hawley is the Founding and Artistic Director of the chamber music series AVEDIS, a concert series devoted exclusively to the flute's full chamber repertory. Founded during the 1980's and based in San Francisco, AVEDIS presents an annual season of concerts. Programs are created for varied ensembles combining the flute with winds, flute with keyboard, harp or guitar, flute with strings, woodwind quintets, and other diverse combinations. Guest artists include The Stanford Woodwind Quintet, guitarists David Tanenbaum and Ricardo Cobo, pianists Paul Hersh, Jon Nakamatsu and Robin Sutherland, violinists Roy Malan and Susan Freier, cellist Stephen Harrison, and other prominent Bay Area artists. Ms. Hawley has produced and performed in dozens of AVEDIS concerts, gaining a depth and breadth of hands-on chamber music experience unsurpassed among flutists.
A champion of contemporary music, Alexandra Hawley recorded the composer Robert Muczynski's complete repertoire of solo and chamber music for flute with the Stanford Woodwind Quintet, which she co-founded, and the composer at the piano. The Naxos label release is highlighted by Moments, written especially for her. Ms. Hawley has commissioned new works for flute and guitar by French composer Jean-Michael Damase and by the seminal American composer Terry Riley.
Ms. Hawley was a member of the National Flute Association delegation to the Soviet Union in 1989 and has been invited to perform at the Boston, Los Angeles, San Diego and Kansas City National Flute Conventions. Alexandra Hawley teaches on the music faculty of Stanford University.
"Aexandra Hawley commands an extraordinary range of tone and color...complete technical proficiency...spontaneous, perceptive musical sensitivity...exquisite poise and style."
- The New York Times
"Friday's recital by flutist Alexandra Hawley was as perfect as I have encountered. Programming, technique, musicality all rated a 10. Hawley has every arrow available. The tone is dulcet, but varied for style, as is her vibrato. She can make the instrument purr as easily as glitter, make it sound like liquid gold or blue flames of tension. But beyond mere control and mastery, she reached exceptional levels of classy musicianship."
- San Francisco Chronicle
"Superlative performance...shining like pearls."
- Oakland Tribune
"Enormous technical ability and an extremely beautiful tone."
- Het Vrije Volk (Amsterdam)
"Brilliantly memorable passages with crystal clear tone and amazing expressiveness."
- Nieuw Rotterdams Courant
Brilliant Hawley Performance
“The flute, by its very nature, is charming and composers make the most of its decoration and sylvan suggestions. But from the beginning of her recital, Alexandra Hawley went beyond charm with a confident assurance that promised much. The promise was kept in her even tone, in the brilliance of the cadenza in Dutilleux’s Sonatine, the wistful melody in the slow movement of the Devienne Sonata, the dramatic passion in Reinecke’s Undine, the vigor and bounce she brought to Prokofiev’s big Sonata in D Major. Hawley had the advantage of a splendid pianist in Rudolf Jensen, and these composers gave the pianist good parts. The two artists had played together before and thought in the same spirit. He did not hesitate to use the full depth and power of the grand piano when playing alone. But while Hawley was playing his discretion did not allow him to cover even her softest passages. Encores sometimes sum up the qualities heard all through, and the slow movement of Poulenc’s Sonata showed the delicacy, the charming phrase, the varied tone of each artist.”
- Peninsula Times Tribune
"The 1997 work Lifting the Veil of Anxiety by Jean-Michel Damase was a delightful addition to the literature for the combination of flute, viola and harp. The aria duetto between violist Paul Hersh and flutist Alexandra Hawley was sweet, at times passionate. Their execution was flawless and inspired."
“Alexandra Hawley plays beautifully…displaying a vivid conception and mercurial fluency that imbues the work with great vitality.”
- FANFARE Magazine
“The Avedis Trio, with its unusual instrumentation of flute, cello and piano, closed out the Friends of Chamber Music series with a program that included works not often heard. Alexandra Hawley, flute; Julian Hersh, cello; and Paul Hersh, piano, performed trios by Haydn, Jean-Michel Damase, Telemann and Weber, plus a duet for flute and piano by Schubert. The one contemporary work, Damase’s Sonate en Concert, though written in the form of a baroque dance suite, employs a modern and much more effective technique for exploiting the qualities of the flute. It proved the program’s highlight, offering the best showcase for the trio’s talents. Hawley has an excellent technical command of the flute. Her tone has a concentrated core and brilliance in the upper range. Cellist Hersh played with a resonant tone and careful attention to phrasing and balance. There was satisfaction from this interesting program.”
- Modesto Record
“In planning their program, flutist Alexandra Hawley and pianist Robin Sutherland betrayed their musical preferences quite clearly: they have none. And because they have none, they’re able to successfully perform styles as varied as Bach and Bartok without apology. Hawley’s fluid gracefulness made for some interesting moments, as when she sets the flute to dancing like sun motes in the Faure Fantasie, or in the driving urgency of the gigue; double in Bach’s C minor Suite. Each movement of the Three Romances contains that combination of the pastoral and the majestic that is peculiarly Schumannesque. This proved to be one of the highlights of the evening, played with obvious enjoyment by both artists.”
- Peninsula Times Tribune
“The program focused on the musical duo of flutist Alexandra Hawley and pianist Paul Hersh. Hawley and Hersh played the Introduction and Rondo by the Danish flute master of the early 19th century, Daniel Friedrich Kuhlau, and the Poulenc Sonata. They represent a fetching combination of talents, musical equals in every way. The Kuhlau shone as one of those pieces that resounds with effervescent ease, a “feel-good” item for any contemporary duo team, and few could match the Gallic wit and taste with which Hawley and Hersh dispatched the silken charms of this work.”
- San Francisco Chronicle