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The 2012 Irving M. Klein International String Competition

Semifinalists - Biography

Alexandra Switala

Alexandra Switala

Violinist Alexandra Alvarado Switala, 18, is a scholarship recipient of the Music Institute of Chicago’s Academy program where she studies privately with faculty members Roland and Almita Vamos. She began her musical journey at age 4 in Texas, where she studied with Jan Mark Sloman, and has since studied privately with renowned musicians from across the nation, including Catherine Cho at The Juilliard School.

Since age 13, Switala has had performed as a soloist with the Fort Worth Symphony, Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra and Cleveland Orchestra. She has also performed with the Florida Orchestra, New World Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Buffalo Philharmonic and Cleveland Orchestra.

Switala has been a featured artist on the PBS’ From the Top at Carnegie Hall and on the NPR shows From the Top and Performance Today.

Switala has had great success in competitions, taking top prizes at the Cooper International, Sphinx and Blount-Slawson competitions. A born-and-raised Texan, she is a recipient of the Bayard H. Friedman award for Outstanding Student in the Performing Arts in Fort Worth and the Texas Commission on the Arts Young Master Award. In past summers, Switala has participated in prestigious music festivals such as the Perlman Music Program, ENCORE School for Strings, Aspen Music Festival and the National Arts Centre Young Artists’ Program in Ottawa, Canada. At these programs, she has worked in depth with musicians such as David Cerone, Itzhak Perlman, Masao Kawasaki and Pinchas Zukerman. As a chamber musician, Switala has studied with members of the Cavani, Mendelssohn and Guarneri string quartets. She has also had the privilege of playing for renowned artists such as Ida Kavafian, Midori, Patinka Kopec, Pamela Frank and Joel Smirnoff.