Berko’s October Update! – LOCC Blog

By Alex Berko
October 26, 2023 

I have had a wonderful month and a half here in Louisville getting settled into my new home in Shelby Park. We have really hit the ground running here with several orienting and project meetings, recording an upcoming PBS special with Teddy, and having many chances already to see rehearsals and performances by the orchestra. It has been very inspiring to see all the ground-breaking ways this organization operates, especially how they reach so many people who would not normally have access to an orchestra. It has also been exciting to see Chris Thile and Rufus Wainwright, two musicians whom I deeply admire, perform genre-bending sets with the orchestra. I now have many ideas for how my personal voice can be fully realized and expanded in collaboration with this fantastic ensemble. 

As I get details together for my community project, I look forward to working with young students and older adults to create a collaborative piece through interviews and musical activities. I love this idea of combining different generations of people and finding stories through that connection, celebrating our individuality, our quirks, and what makes us human. I am planning to present the work with a string quartet comprised of LO (Louisville Orchestra) musicians and myself on piano. More information on this soon! 

Lastly, as I gather my thoughts for our Creator’s festival in May, I am strongly considering combining a small choir to perform with the Louisville Orchestra. Each of us Creators is connected through our love of the “voice” and “vocal-ness.” For me, choir has always played a vital role in my life, and it feels wonderfully natural to combine singers with the orchestra (maybe that’s the Thile/Wainwright influence…). If you would like to hear some of my choral music, I recently had an album come out with the Grammy-winning choir, Conspirare. Two of my pieces are on the album: Sacred Place, a multi-movement work using Judaism as a framework for environmentalism, and You Through Me, a work about the Elizabeth Street Garden in SoHo, NY. You can find the album anywhere you stream music. 

Lastly, if you see me at a concert, please say hello and tell me what restaurants and bars to go to! I just got married and my wife and I have loved exploring the city. All for now. More soon…