Sydney based flautist and teacher Alexandra Castle is a qualified and well-rounded musician, having received an Associate of Music Diploma in both Music Theory and Organ from the Australian Guild of Music and Speech (2000), her Bachelor of Music (Flute Performance) with First Class Honours (2004) from the Elder Conservatorium, and a Graduate Diploma of Performance (2008) from the Sydney Conservatorium. She was the recipient of a six-year Centenary Grant from The Foundation For Young Australians from 2001-2006, the Henderson Coursework Scholarship from Sydney University in 2008, and a grant from PPCA Performers Trust Foundation in 2013 to undertake professional development at the Banff Arts Centre, Canada.
Alexandra is an experienced and engaged teacher, having taught over a thousand students in Adelaide and Sydney over the past 15 years. She has also tutored many large groups: for school band programs and the Sydney Youth Orchestra.
Other than general enjoyment and emotional/mental development her students' more tangible achievements include:
• High percentage of students continuing flute and music studies for numerous years
• A+ for all levels of AMEB grade exams
• Prizes at the Sydney and Adelaide Flute Society Eisteddfods, McDonald's Sydney Eisteddfod
• Outstanding results for South Australian Certificate of Education, Higher School Certificate and the International Baccalaureate
• Encore Nomniations, Award and Encore Concert performance at Opera House
• Acceptance into Sydney Conservatorium
Previously a flute student of both the Elder Conservatorium in Adelaide and the Sydney Conservatorium, Alexandra is very experienced in ensemble performance, having participated in many state and national level ensembles: Adelaide Primary Schools' Wind Ensemble (1994-1995); South Australian Music Camp concert bands and orchestras (1995-2001); Woodville High Special Interest Music Centre's school ensembles (1996-2000); Adelaide Symphony Orchestra's Big Rehearsal (2000); Elder Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra and New Music Ensemble (2001-2005); Adelaide Youth Orchestra (2002-2006); Australian Youth Orchestra (2006-2009); Sydney Symphony Orchestra's Sinfonia (2007-2009); Sydney Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra and the Australian International Summer Orchestral Institute (2008).
Her primary mentors in Australia were Geoffrey Collins (Principal Flute, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra; Australia Ensemble) and Louise Dellit (former Berliner Symphoniker).
As a soloist Alexandra was honoured to perform both Mozart concerti with the Elder Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra (2004), Unley Symphony Orchestra (2004) and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra's Sinfonia (2007), and toured all around Australia as guest soloist with Kammerphilharmonie Köhn (2013). She was Instrumental Winner of the South Australian MBS Young Performer Award in 2006, and a semi-finalist in the Australian Flute Competition in both 2005 and 2013.
She has performed in masterclass for flautists of the highest international level:
• Emmanuel Pahud (Principal Flute, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, EMI artist)
• Denis Bouriakov (Principal Flute, New York Metropolitan Opera)
• Walter Auer (Principal Flute, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra)
• Dr Michael Hasel (Associate Principal, Berlin Philharmonic)
• Emily Beynon (Principal Flute, Royal Concertgebouw)
• Michael Cox (Principal Flute, BBC Symphony)
• Paul Edmund-Davies (Principal Flute, London Symphony)
• Trevor Wye (well-known teacher and published author)
• Tara Helen O'Connor (soloist, teacher at Manhattan School of Music, New York)
• Ransom Wilson (American soloist, teacher and conductor)
• Molly Barth (University of Oregon, former eighth blackbird)
Since moving to Sydney in 2008, Alexandra has had a wide range of musical experiences: she toured China and Portugal as guest flautist with the Macau Symphony Orchestra (2012); held a two-month summer residency at the Banff Arts Centre in Canada, performing as soloist, chamber musician, and Principal Flute with the Banff Festival Orchestra (2013); gave the Australian Premiere of Joan Tower’s "Rising" with Tonic String Quartet (2014); toured Queensland and Taiwan with the educational wind quintet The Chambermaids for Musica Viva in Schools (2014); performed on five different types of flute for the Sydney production of Wicked The Musical (2014-2015); performed numerous times for the NSW Police Band; and played for many other events such as National Geographic’s “Symphony for Our World”, the Sydney Opera House NYE Gala, X-Factor and morning tv with Ronan Keating, Michael Bolton, the Zep Boys, numerous movie soundtracks including Baz Luhrmann’s Australia, and most recently collaborated as guest flautist (and jazz percussionist..!) with the Canberra based chamber group, the Griffyn Ensemble, for the new music festival at City Recital Hall “Extended Play”.
Alexandra currently plays on a regular basis with the Opera Australia Orchestra, having performed many different operas and ballets over the past 11 years, including Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour. As flautist with the Adelaide-based Kegelstatt Ensemble since 2007, she has been fortunate to perform a great deal of the flute's chamber music repertoire for the Elder Conservatorium of Music's Lunchtime Concert Series, the Pilgrim Church concert series and at the Melbourne Recital Centre’s Primrose Potter Salon.
She teaches flute at St Aloysius' College, Glenaeon Rudolf Steiner School and Neutral Bay Public School.