In Memoriam of Classical Guitarist Alexander Dunn

Image: Alexander Dunn

Alexander Dunn

Internationally regarded guitarist and educator Alexander Dunn Ph.D., passed away on May 8, 2024. Dunn was a valued member of the UC Irvine Department of Music, an instructor of guitar and led the guitar ensemble since 2021. 

“I knew Alex not only as a skilled musician but also as a kind, gentle and generous person, with a quick and mischievous sense of humor. He was always eager to contribute to the betterment of any musical community,” shares Christopher Dobrian, professor in the Department of Music. “He was my first friend and roommate when we arrived as graduate students at UCSD in 1983, and we have remained musical colleagues and pals ever since."

Dunn’s journey into education began when he received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in guitar performance at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He later earned a Ph.D. in Musicology at the University of San Diego, studying with the Spanish masters Pepe, Angel and Celin Romero.

“I have played with Alex on many occasions, with orchestra and in duo concerts, with great pleasure,” said Maestro Pepe Romero. “He brings tremendous energy to performances. I also regard him as one of the finest teachers I have encountered, with great sensitivity and musical intelligence. His teaching is marked by an outstanding ability to produce musical results, an ear for all styles and periods and amazing sight reading.” 

Before Alexander Dunn’s time at UC Irvine, he spent 34 years at the University of Victoria (UVic). Dunn created one of the strongest guitar programs in Canada, leaving an indelible mark at UVic. In 2019, he received the UVic Provost’s Advocacy and Activism Award for garnering an Artist Protection Fund Fellowship Grant for the Syrian Orontes Guitar Quartet. This grant enabled the classical guitar ensemble to escape war-torn Syria and enrich the local music community in Canada.

Alexander Dunn’s impact on the classical guitar world was invaluable. His legacy and commitment to music education and arts advocacy will continue to inspire students, faculty and future generations of musicians.

Posted Date: 
Friday, May 24, 2024