Dr. Alejandro Avila

Vocal Workshop

Director, IPPA South America Division; Instructor of Keyboard Studies and Director of Accompaniment at Barton Community College

Pianist Alejandro Avila was born in Asuncion, Paraguay, and began his piano studies at the age of 7. Concluding his conservatory studies in Asuncion, Alejandro was awarded a full scholarship to pursue a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance degree at São Paulo State University (UNESP), in Brazil, where he studied with renowned Brazilian professors Dr. Cláudio Richerme, and Dr. André Rangel. After finishing his studies in São Paulo, Alejandro recieved a full assistantship position at Central Michigan University, where he worked as a piano instructor for piano class and private lessons, as well as a collaborator for choir, instrumentalists, and singers. During these two years, Alejandro pursued his Master of Music degree in Piano Performance studying with Portuguese pianist Alexandra Mascolo-David. 

Alejandro is a recipient of several prizes, grants, and music awards. Among these are the first prize at the Rosa Mistica competition in Curitiba, Brazil in 2003 when he was 12, the first prize at Momento Musical competition in Asuncion, Paraguay in 2012, as well as two Silver Medals at the KMTA Honors competition at the graduate level in Emporia, KS in 2018 and  in Lawrence, KS in 2019. Alejandro is also a recipient of the Koch Cultural Trust grant for his work at the Cortona Sessions for New Music, in Italy,  as well as a Reach Out Kansas grant, for his collaborative work with The Meadowlark Project.

Alejandro received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Kansas in 2020, after defending his dissertation Iguazú:  A Collection of South American Piano Pieces, a research project passed with Honors that focuses on the incorporation of pedagogic pieces outside the main canon. Dr. Avila has been recently appointed Instructor of Keyboard Studies and Director of Accompaniment at Barton Community College in Great Bend, Kansas. Prior to his current appointment,  Dr. Alejandro worked as an adjunct faculty and collaborative pianist at Washburn University in Topeka, as well as a professional staff pianist at The University of Kansas, in Lawrence, collaborating with the voice, string, choir, and opera departments at both institutions. Dr. Avila was also faculty of piano and theory for all levels at Language and Music House of Kansas City from 2021 to 2022. Alejandro keeps an active and successful career as a recitalist, both in solo and collaborative settings, and is one of the most sought-after collaborative pianists in the region. Dr. Avila also keeps a piano studio across Kansas and different online locations . 

International outreach and educational development are also key endeavors in Alejandro’s agenda as an educator. In 2021, Dr. Avila was appointed Director of the South American division of the International Piano Professionals Association (IPPA), position in which he has worked to develop locations in Asuncion, Paraguay and Buenos Aires, Argentina to host regional competitions that connect to the grand final of the international competition that is hosted every summer in Recanati, Italy. In addition to the competition, Dr. Avila gives lectures, workshops, recitals, and other pedagogical events throughout the region, in his mission to educate and foster piano education in his native continent.

An enthusiast of chamber music and Latin-American repertoire, Alejandro performs regularly with singers and instrumentalist of the Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri areas. Premiering new works by living composers and reviving lesser-known compositions are among Alejandro’s main endeavors as a contemporary artist. Ongoing summer residencies include the Salt Creek Festival in Ashland, Nebraska as a guest artist, the Vocal Academy of Opera (VAO) in Bodrum, Turkey, where he coaches singers and plays for recitals and concerts in the region, as well as a Associate Faculty at the Conero International Piano Festival in Recanati, Italy. He is also a co-founder of The Meadowlark Project, a new music ensemble that brings Kansas-based art songs into new audiences and small communities within the states of Kansas and Missouri.

In his free time, Alejandro enjoys cooking, running outdoors, and playing keyboard with his Lawrence-KC-based Brazilian band Balacobaco.