Alexander Tentser is an unusually gifted and versatile musician. In his capacity as a concert pianist, chamber music collaborator, and a conductor, he always delivers the highest quality performances.
Alexander began studying piano at the age of four with his father in Kiev, Ukraine. He was quickly accepted at the Ukraine State School for Gifted Children sponsored by the Kiev Conservatory.
After a highly acclaimed performance of the Grieg’s Piano Concerto at the age of twelve, he was recommended for studies at the Gnessin Music College in Moscow, Russia, the oldest music college in the country. He continued his piano education at the Russian Music Academy with Professor Theodore Gutmann, who, as a student of Henry Neuhaus, continued the celebrated Russian piano tradition producing hundreds of wonderful pianists working all around the globe.
Alexander was always interested in chamber music, and, since 1986, performed and toured with the Siberian Philharmonic Violin Ensemble, accompanying and playing solo piano repertoire in almost all the republics of the former Soviet Union and abroad.
After his arrival to the United States in 1990, he was immediately engaged as a pianist with the New York Philharmonic violinist Anna Rabinova to perform John Corigliano’s Violin Sonata at Merkin Hall, SUNY at Purchase, NY, and the New York University.
In 1991 he was offered a full scholarship for doctoral studies at the University of Arizona with Professor Nohema Fernandez. In his first year Alexander received a Creative Achievement Award for the top graduate students, and became a winner of the President’s Concerto Competition. As a result of this, he was engaged to appear with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven’s Concerto #4 in 1993-1994 concert season. Since then, he was invited back as a guest soloist in 1998, and 2003.
Alexander and his wife Anna Gendler frequently appeared with the Daystar Chamber Ensemble, and most recently, with the St. Michael’s Chamber players performing piano trios, quartets, and quintets with the Tucson musicians. They are also frequently joined by Alexander Lipay, Principal Flutist of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. Two Alexanders performed several recital programs with great success.
As a conductor, Alexander directs Pima Community College Orchestra producing a variety of programs including the works of Baroque, Classical, and Modern composers. In the Spring of 2008 the PCC Orchestra and Opera singers performed Mozart’s “Magic Flute” at the Proscenium Theater in Tucson. For several years now as well, Alexander has conducted the Arizona Balalaika Orchestra in their annual January/February concerts of Russian music.
In 1997 Alexander became a Music Faculty member at both Cochise College in Sierra Vista, and Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona.
His students performed very successfully at different venues, and several of them became winners of the Tucson Symphony and the Sierra Vista Symphony Concerto Competitions. In 2005-2007 Alexander was on the Music Faculty at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
Alexander is a very charismatic and engaging speaker. He appeared as a pre-concert lecturer for the several “UA presents” performances. In 2006-2007 concert season he offered pre-concert talks on “Interpreti Veneziani” Baroque Ensemble from Italy, and Academy of St. Martins in the Fields from England. He also appeared in several TV programs including “Shostakovich Reflected”, discussing music and politics in Russia, and “It’s About You” dedicated to music and emotional healing.
In March of 2007 Alexander served as a co-Chair of the Symposium on Music and Medicine at the University of Arizona. Alexander presented a lecture-demonstration “Expanding Minds through the Language of Music” and performed his piano composition “Prelude, Chorale and Toccata” at the Symposium opening. In September of 2008 he was invited as a guest speaker and performer to the Music and Medicine Symposium at the Indiana State Purdue University in Fort Wayne. He premiered his new piano piece “American Prelude and Fugue” composed for the Symposium.
In July of 2014 Alexander Tentser was invited to be a music director and conductor of the International Balalaika and Domra Association Festival Orchestra in Kalamazoo, MI. The Orchestra consisted of 80 musicians from all over the world and performed a various program of Russian music at Chenery Concert Hall in Kalamazoo. In the course of the festival Dr. Tentser also presented several lectures on Russian music.
Inside Alexander’s recording studio