BY FERNANDO RODRIGUEZ
Los Cabos welcomes Alex McArthur, a master pianist and spectacular musician who can readily play up to three hours of classical legends: Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, and Liszt. MacArthur began his music studies at the Vernon Community Music School in British Columbia, Canada. He finished his ARCT in 2003. He received his Bachelor of Music Degree with a specialization in performance from the University of Victoria in 2008 and then studied for an additional two years at ‘Le Conservatoire de Musique de Montreal’.
Alex has performed in many classical concerts throughout his career, including as a guest soloist with the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra and the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra and has been teaching piano for the past 20 years.
“I love performing for anyone who will listen,” said the soft-spoken, mild-mannered McArthur.
If you check out his website, www.alexmcarthurmusic.com, you will be blown away by his three live performance videos which include “Epilogue from La La Land: Justin Hurwitz,” “Danse Macabre: Saint-Saëns by Liszt/Horowitz” and “Harmonies du Soir: Franz Liszt.”
“When I was a young child, I came home from school one day and showed my mom what I had learned in music class on our piano. This was the first time I had played the piano and she decided to put me in lessons right away. When I first started taking piano lessons, I fell in love with the instrument. I haven’t always been able to express myself easily, but at the piano, my emotions can flow freely. I absolutely love sharing the gift of music with as many people as I can. Music is life,” said McArthur.
“I just moved to Cabo with my wife for a lifestyle change. We also wanted to be closer to her parents. Back in Canada, I was teaching at an elementary school during the day and giving private piano lessons in the evening. I teach all ages, even adults. I especially love teaching advanced students, but I know that everyone starts as a beginner. I’ve also adjudicated many scholarship competitions and regional piano festivals.”
“Lately, I have been learning hours and hours of instrumental versions of pop/rock songs as well as jazz tunes. I like arranging and performing piano/vocal versions of hard rock music, including Metallica and Deep Purple. I also have an extensive repertoire of classical music,” added Alex. He has been playing keyboard for a few months with the No Borders Academy Big Band, led by Grammy award-winning trumpet player, Terry Townson.
McArthur has also been arranging (or rearranging) some pop songs in the style of ragtime piano for a musical being produced in my hometown in Canada. Some of the more famous and well-known tunes that Alex has been recreating are jazz hits such as Ain’t Misbehavin’, Blueberry Hill, Blue Moon, Dream A Little Dream of Me, New York, New York, Stormy Weather, and Sunny.
His Soul and Pop renditions include Georgia On My Mind, Girl From Ipanema, I Put A Spell On You, Lady Is A Tramp, as well as I Want It That Way (Backstreet Boys), Bruno Mars, Landslide (Fleetwood Mac), Lady Gaga, and Memories (Maroon 5), just to name a few.
Some of the Rock songs that he has been giving his own creative piano style sound to are AC DC’s Highway To Hell, and Thunderstruck, Dream On (Aerosmith), The Beatles, Billy Joel, Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult, The Doors, Elton John, Elvis Presley, Foreigner (Hot Blooded, Juke Box
The Guess Who (These Eyes) Guns N’ Roses, Jerry Lee Lewis, Joe Cocker, Kansas, Metallica, Neil Diamond (Sweet Caroline), Nirvana, The Police, Queen and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
“I plan to start my own piano teaching business where I home visit the students. I can bring my own keyboard. I prefer teaching in English, but I can do it in Spanish also,” said Alex, who hopes to begin performing in hotels (classical/lounge/jazz) and restaurants, and possibly book some weddings. “I am loving Mexico so far. The people are so friendly and the food is incredible! It looks like I’m here to stay!”
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