Introducing the Soldiers of Soldier's Tale: Alexander Haupt, Percussion
Photo Credit: Charles-Antoine Solis
Alexander Haupt is a musician and percussionist from Luxembourg where he started his musical education in percussion and theory at the Luxembourg City Conservatory. After 10 years of studies with Guy Frisch, Paul Mootz and Emmanuel Séjourné (France), he moved to Quebec, Canada, where he obtains a Bachelor degree from Laval University in 2014.
Alexander recently graduated from the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montreal under the tutelage of Fabrice Marandola, Aiyun Huang and guest faculty Andrei Malashenko and Ben Reimer where he was also member of the McGill Symphony Orchestra as well as the McGill Percussion Ensemble. Several masterclasses have marked Alexander’s academic progress: Nancy Zeltsman, Momoko Tamiya, Eric Sammut, Peter Prommel, Roland Auzet and Jean-Pierre Drouet, Bob Becker, Hugues Tremblay, SIXTRUM, Emmanuel Séjourné and Ney Rosauro. His passion for ensemble music have led him to play with several chamber groups as well as orchestras like Estro Armonico, Orchestre de Chambre du Luxembourg, Orchestre Symphonique de l’Agora, Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, United Instruments of Lucilin, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, and Opéra National de la Lorraine. Alexander’s interests are comprised of orchestral performance, contemporary music and musical creation as well as performance practice and movement. He has closely collaborated with composers such as Camille Kerger, Philippe Leroux, Emmanuel Séjourné, Zihua Tan and Joshua Bucchi. Alongside percussion, Alexander has always considered choir music his guilty pleasure where he has collaborated with many ensembles such as the Ensemble Vocal Luxembourg, Robert Schuman Choir, Norwegian Youth Choir, Argentinian Youth Choir. Notable conductors are Aarne Saluveer, Denis Menier, Timo Nuoranne, Antoine Dubois, Martin Folz, Florent Stroesser, Grete Pedersen, Nestor Zadoff.
He believes that, interpreting music spanning form the medieval until today as a singer and conductor, fuels his seemingly limitless curiosity for sound, musical styles and accurately researched performance practice. Alexander has been supported by grants & scholarships from the Schulich School of Music, the Fonds Culturel National Luxembourg, the Ministry of Culture from Luxembourg and the Luxembourgish government.
Are you originally from Montreal? If not, how did you wind up here?
I was born and raised in Luxembourg, minuscule country neighboring Belgium, France and Germany. After 11 years at the Luxembourg Conservatory, Quebec City's Laval University became my choice for undergrad before I moved to Montreal for grad school. I just graduated from McGill in May.
Who is your favorite composer and why?
I don't have one favorite composer. Every style and genre have their little moment during the day or the week or the month. I can tell you my favorite musical period though: from 1500 - today.
Do you have a funny or strange performance story?
I can't recall a funny or strange story but a shocking one, yes. Last year I went on tour with the Orford Academy Orchestra to South Korea and our last show in Busan was broadcasted live on Korea's first TV channel. We played this huge program with Chopin, Webern, Wagner, Beethoven but most importantly Shostakovitch's 11th Symphony, and I felt lucky, because I played all timpani. During the very first explosive fortissimo in the second movement, my mallet just flew into two pieces, without me realizing it, the timpano head had also broken. Obviously, on the next intervention the head broke... in concert... about 600 people in the audience if not more... on live television... Plus I had food poisoning that day. That day I found out that my musical reflexes are now on point, because nobody ever realized (except for the percussion section)
How did you wind up choosing to play percussion?
The first time I saw somebody play Afro-Cuban congas, I was ready to sell my soul to the devil! That was nearly 19 years ago.
What are some of your non-musical interests and hobbies?
I have a strong tendency towards philosophy and politics lately, causing me to read a lot more than I ever did before. I go to the gym to loosen up the brain, rest the ears and get in shape for long hours of music. Netflix got me under it's spell pretty hard, too. But, old European cities with their history, culture and architecture and mostly gastronomy (AND DRINKS!!!!) has me on cloud 9
Come watch our rockstar percussionist Alexander get his groove on in Verisimo's production of Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat on August 29th at 8pm at La Sala Rossa ( 4848 Boulevard Saint-Laurent). Tickets available at the door or online at the link below! (And buying them in advance saves you 10%)
And stay tuned to get to know more about the awesome team of musical soldiers working together to bring you Soldier's Tale!