Dr. Alex McDonald

Artistic Director/Piano


mcdonaldalexSince his orchestral debut at age 11, pianist Alex McDonald has soloed with the Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de Mexico, the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and the Utah Symphony Orchestra, among others. He has performed across the United States as well as in Israel, Canada, Japan, and South Korea; additionally, he has been a featured performer on PBS, WRR, NPR, and WQXR. Awards and fellowships include second prize at the 2007 New Orleans International Piano Competition and second prize at the 2001 Gina Bachauer International Young Artist Piano Competition. In 2008, he was named a Harvey Fellow by the Mustard Seed Foundation.

Dr. McDonald currently teaches piano at Texas Women’s University, having previously taught as adjunct faculty at Richland College as well as at the Juilliard School, where he also was a Teaching Fellow for both the Literature and Materials and Piano Minor departments. Additionally, his private piano students have been admitted to Juilliard and Eastman, as well as the pre-college division of the Manhattan School of Music. Deeply concerned about a healthy integration of life with music, he has actively pursued community formation both as an R.A. in the Juilliard residence hall and as president of Juilliard Christian Fellowship.

Dr. McDonald received his pre-college training under Lois Nielson, his bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory with Academic Honors and Distinction in Performance under Russell Sherman, and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Juilliard under Yoheved Kaplinsky and Julian Martin. His doctoral document, a source study on manuscripts and editions for Liszt’s Sonata in B Minor, has been cited in the most recent edition of the sonata by Alfred Publishers, edited by Nancy Bricard.

Dr. Jonathan Tsay

Artistic Advisor/Piano


tsay Born and raised in Arlington, Texas, Jonathan started his piano studies with Carolyn Savko at the age of five. Under the tutelage of Carol Leone, Jonathan earned a Bachelors of Music with Honors at the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University (SMU). While at SMU, he was the recipient of the van Katwijk Award, the Roy and Sue Johnson Award, and the Mu Phi Epsilon Award. Jonathan entered l’Université de Montréal in 2005 as a Masters of Music student of Marc Durand, and through an accelerated program received his doctorate in 2009.

Of an appearance in a concert with violinist Stirling Trent, Scott Cantrell (The Dallas Morning News) writes: “Their impeccable performance... was the afternoon’s highlight.” Jonathan has been a featured soloist with orchestras including the Fort Worth Youth Orchestra, the Houston School for the Performing and Visual Arts Orchestra, and the Meadows Symphony Orchestra. An active collaborative artist, Jonathan has performed alongside such names as Chee-Yun (International Concert Violinist), Jing Wang (Concertmaster, Hong Kong Philharmonic), Alessandra Marc (soprano), and Nathan Olson (Co-Concertmaster, Dallas Symphony Orchestra)

First prize in the 4th annual Concours de musique de Repentigny (2006), Jonathan made his Canadian solo debut during the following concert season. In addition to his performing duties, he maintains an incredibly diverse schedule; his regular posts include presenter and performer for the Van Cliburn Foundation's "Musical Awakenings" outreach concerts, piano faculty at the Suzuki Music Institute of Dallas and at Conservatory Music in the Mountains, and artistic director of ensemble75, a chamber music series based out of Steinway Hall - Dallas.

Jonathan has composed scores to multiple documentaries; most recently he wrote music for Parker Brown’s exploration into college smoking entitled DRAG, which can be found on internet podcasts and public broadcasts throughout the US. Jonathan's recordings can be found in Brahms - A Listener's Guide: Unlocking the Masters Series, published by Amadeus Press and available on amazon.com. A CD featuring the works of Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich, Debussy, Liszt, and Muczynski was released worldwide May 2009.