He knew that the very memory of the piano falsified still further the perspective in which he saw the elements of music, that the field open to the musician is not a miserable stave of seven notes, but an immeasurable keyboard...
- Marcel Proust
Winner of the Firmin Swinnen second prize at the Longwood Gardens International Organ Competition 2016, Alcee Chriss III has been celebrated for his “grace, skill and abundant proficiency” (Journal Assist News, Albuquerque). He has performed throughout the United States and France and is emerging as an outstanding young concert artist of virtuosity and versatility. He has won top prizes at international and national competitions, receiving First Prize and Audience Prize in the Miami International Organ Competition (2014), the Fort Wayne National Organ Competition (2016), the Albert Schweitzer National Organ Competition in Wethersfield, CT (2013), and the Quimby Regional Competition for Young Organists in Austin, TX (2013). Alcee was also selected as one of five finalists for the final round of the Taylor Organ Competition in Atlanta, GA in April 2015, and won the $5,000 second prize. In addition to being a “Rising Star” performer at the AGO National Convention in Boston, MA during the summer of 2014, he also received a grant from Oberlin’s 1835 fund to spend January 2014 in France studying historic organs and repertoire. Alcee returned to France in April 2016 to perform a solo recital as a part of the Festival Myrelingues in Lyon and continues to do international music outreach work as the parrain of a music immersion course in Lyon’s Duchère district.
An alumnus of Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Alcee received the Masters degree in historical keyboard and a Bachelors degree in Organ. At Oberlin, he studied organ with James David Christie, Olivier Latry, and has had studies in improvisation with Marie-Louise Langlais. He has studied harpsichord and continuo playing with Webb Wiggins and Hank Knox. In May 2015, he served as the harpsichordist for Oberlin’s production of Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s opera Les Plaisirs de Versailles at both the National Museum of American History and the Boston Early Music Festival.
In the fall of 2015, Alcee began his doctorate degree at McGill University where he studies with Hans-Ola Ericsson. He has performed in such venues as the Meyerson Symphony Center (Dallas, TX), John F. Kennedy Center, Washington National Cathedral, Caruth Auditorium, and St. Olaf’s Catholic Church, Minneapolis MN, among others. In addition to his organ and harpsichord studies, Alcee is active as a conductor and jazz pianist.