headshot photo of Dr. Alexander Miller

Dr. Alexander Miller

College of Performing Arts; Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music
Office Location: Bertea Hall 207


Alexander Elliott Miller is a composer, guitarist and teacher whose music has been described as "wild.... unearthly...lyrical...a voice worth listening to" (San Francisco Classical Voice) and "inventive...unconventional" (LA Times' Mark Swed). His compositions have been performed by Grammy-nominated musicians including Tony Arnold, Vicki Ray, Aron Kallay and the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet among many others, and received honors including the 2012 Earplay Donald Aird Composers Award and a MacDowell Fellowship.

Miller is a Co-Director and guitarist of the What's Next? Ensemble, an LA-based new music collective formed in 2008 that he manages with his colleagues Ben Phelps, Jack Stulz and Vimbayi Kaziboni.  The group has been called a "superb ensemble" and "overwhelming" (Opera West) and a group that plays with "panache" and is "ready for any main stage keen enough to know what's what" (LA Times).   In addition to presenting its own critically acclaimed concerts, What's Next? has collaborated with the Long Beach Opera, Carlsbad Music Festival, Jacob TV, served as the Ensemble in Residence at UC-Riverside and, since 2009, produced the Los Angeles Composers Project, an annual concert series that has featured performances of exciting new music by over 60 California based artists.

With backgrounds in rock, classical and jazz guitar, Miller has performed extensively both as an electric guitarist for the What's Next? Ensemble and as a frequent performer of his own compositions for solo classical guitar, especially his work "Flatiron."  In addition, he has performed as a guest guitarist with the Long Beach Opera and the Color Field Ensemble.

He currently teaches composition and music theory at Chapman University and California State University Long Beach. He previously served on the faculties of Illinois State University, the University of Southern California, West Chester University of Pennsylvania and California Lutheran University, and has worked with high school students, leading after-school music education programs in Los Angeles.

He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Composition from the University of Southern California, a Master of Music in Composition from the Eastman School of Music, and Bachelor of Music degrees in Composition & Guitar Performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder, with additional studies in Max/MSP at UC Berkeley's Center for New Music & Audio Technology (CNMAT).

His works are published by HoneyRock Percussion Performance Literature (Pennsylvania) and VP Music Media (Italy).