Falconer Native To Perform At Carnegie Hall In November

Alyssa Schwartz

From the halls of Falconer Central School to the infamous Carnegie Hall, Alyssa Schwartz’s music career has the young performer on the up and up.

Schwartz, a 2006 Falconer graduate currently in pursuit of her doctorate of musical arts at West Virginia University, is slated to make her debut appearance at the prestigious New York City concert venue the first weekend in November. The milestone performance comes as part of a winner’s recital after her division-topping flute performance in the 2017 Golden Classical Music Awards International Music Competition in July.

“I’m really excited because playing at Carnegie Hall was an old goal of mine, and it’s amazing to have that wish come true,” she said. “I’m also really nervous and I keep telling myself that I should just quit while I’m ahead, because once I have Carnegie Hall on my resume how much farther can I go after that?”

This award follows Schwartz’s recent debut at the Wiener Saal Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, in July as first-place winner in the 2017 Grand Prize Virtuoso International Music Competition. She said this competition was notable for its inclusion of competitors from as many as 15 different countries, and had an atmosphere of promoting music as a universal language even as its performers occasionally struggled to communicate with one another.

As such, Schwartz said her recent first-place performances have served as a source of affirmation that the career path she desires is one that is very much attainable.

“Personally it feels really good to accomplish what I have at these prestigious competitions because I would like to be a symphonic performer one day,” she said. “I’m finishing my terminal degree and doing these competitions because I feel that, by having success in these competitions, that I could actually do that. I test myself by performing under pressure and seeing if I can place well to see if I can go where I prefer to go when I finish finish school.”

Schwartz has been attending and performing at West Virginia University since her arrival in 2012 to pursue her master’s in music, which she fulfilled in 2014. Prior to that she attended Michigan State University, where she received her bachelor’s in music performance in 2010.

She is currently a part-time student and full-time employee at the university, working as a residence hall coordinator. As a student she has completed her coursework and now has only to write her dissertation, a monumental task but one she hopes to have completed in the coming months with the aim of graduating in December.

In the meantime, she has also worked as assistant director and executive director of the International Flute Symposium at West Virginia University. She is also one-fourth of the BETA Quartet — a professional four-piece chamber ensemble that engages in chamber music competitions and performances across the nation. Schwartz said the BETA Quartet also recently recorded an album of contemporary quartet music, with plans to release the album in September or October.

For more information, visit betaquartet.com.