Alex FokkensAlabama Symphony Youth Orchestra Music Director
Alexander Fokkens’ extensive experience, both local and international, his professionalism, and his intense passion for music have led to him becoming one of the most sought-after conductors in South Africa
He has spent the last 20 years exploring ways to make music with people from all walks of life and a variety of backgrounds.
His conducting has seen him on many different podiums ranging from those in front of professional orchestras all over the world to string ensembles made up of 12 year old musicians. In each and every performance, residency or workshop, he strives to achieve his goal of creating a sense of community in the music making and engaging the souls of the performers in the final performance. People find the answers that they seek in life in the music that they experience, be it playing or listening. He believes that as an artist, it is his responsibility to help people on their individual journeys to find their answers.
After graduating from Texas Christian University in 1999 with a Masters in Double Bass performance and extensive graduate theory study, he was appointed as Director of Orchestra Activities and Instructor of Strings at Northern State University, Aberdeen, SD. In 2005 he and his family returned to South Africa where he was +involved in many different areas of classical music in South Africa , holding a number of posts including; Artistic Director and CEO of the Free State Symphony Orchestra, conductor of the Free State Youth Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Symphony Choir of Cape Town, Music Director and Conductor of the University of Cape Town String Ensemble and Symphonic Band and Resident Conductor of the University of Cape Town Symphony Orchestra.
He has also performed in; La Turbie, France, Ravenna, Italy, the Millennium Centre, Cardiff, Wales, The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank, London, UK, The Hippodrome, Birmingham, UK, and has been invited as a Guest Speaker and Conductor to Grinnell College, IA, Concordia College, Moorhead, Mn and Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX where he also served as a Sabbatical Replacement for Dr. German Gutierrez.
In 2021, he accepted the position of Music Chair at the Alabama School of Fine Arts and now resides in Birmingham, Alabama where he has also been appointed Conductor of the Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra.