Alexander (“Ale”) Miller grew up in foreign countries, living in Mexico, Australia and Venezuela before returning to Michigan for high school. In 1986 he graduated from Cranbrook Kingswood School cum laude and moved to New York to study oboe at Juilliard with Elaine Douvas and John Ferrillo. During summers he played with the Aspen Music Festival, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Waterloo Festival and the American-Russian Youth Orchestra on their world tour.
After earning his Master’s degree from Juilliard in 1992, Ale won the national audition for Assistant Principal Oboe with the Grand Rapids Symphony. Also a serious composer, his Fireworks has been performed in Carnegie Hall, and Let Freedom Ring, for orchestra and narrator, has been performed by James Earl Jones, William Warfield, Danny Glover and Bill Clinton. His most recent commissions have included a clarinet concerto (Encaustic) and a cello concerto based on Madame Bovary. He will be included in Symphony Magazine’s Fall 2012 article about orchestral musicians who are also composers.
In late 2009 Ale was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor called a craniopharyngioma. He underwent two brain surgeries followed by a year of rehabilitation. Returning to his life as a performing musician is what Ale considers his greatest achievement, and he blogs about his experiences as a patient regularly. He is married to Cabrillo Festival violist Mary Jane Miller, and his other interests include aviation, modern art, wine collecting and mushroom hunting.