Sonata for Piano

(Solo Piano).
Total duration ca. 16 minutes (1997; revised 1999)
Published by Activist Music (ASCAP).
Three movement work: "Moderato," Lento; Andante,"
and "Scherzo."
21 pages, 8.5" x 11".

First version premiered in May 1998
in Los Angeles, CA. by Barbara Burgan.
Revised version with new first movement premiered in April 1999
in Santa Clara, CA. by Teresa McCollough.

Recorded in August 1999 by Teresa McCollough, piano.

Audio clip of movements 1 and 2 performed by Teresa McCollough, piano. Audio clip of movement 3 performed by Beatrix Klein.



View the first page and hear music clips
of any of the three movements:

1. Moderato
view score
2. Lento; Andante
view score

3. Scherzo

view score

Purchase this score

Score available for $22.00 print, $15.00 digital, from Activist Music.



Sonata for Piano is a three movement work written in the structural tradition of many classical sonatas. Throughout the piece, there's an emphasis on strong melodies and rhythms and a lush use of the keyboard. The first movement, Moderato, explores two themes that are first developed independently and ultimately are interwoven as two parts of a whole. A set of jazz harmonies are implied against more angular melodic lines. The second movement, Lento; Andante, takes the listener on an emotional, dreamlike journey that leads to a passionate outburst, and the final movement, Scherzo, is just that— an impish romp through bitonality that ends with a laugh.

New American Piano Music CD
Sonata for Piano is featured on Teresa McCollough's Innova Recordings CD,
New American Piano Music (innova 552). Click CD for more info.
Garrison CD
Scherzo, from Sonata for Piano, is featured on the CD of the 2006 William Garrison Piano Competition, as performed by Beatrix Klein. Click CD for more info.



A [non-performing!] pianist herself, Alex has always loved composing for the instrument, and Activist Music has created a collection of her solo piano works, available as a set of .pdf downloads. Ranging from short offerings to those with multiple movements, these idiomatic pieces reveal a broad swath of emotions.

Sonata for Piano is also among the works included in Shapiro's 2019 album release of her piano music, recorded by Adam Marks at the Yamaha Artist Services studios in New York City.

For complete information about the published collection and the upcoming album, click HERE. read


Alex Shapiro



"...[Shapiro's] piano sonata is tough, tightly controlled motivically in the manner of mid-century American serious composers, but it is also musically tense and expressive. This is the genuine article."

— Gordon Rumson, Music & Vision Magazine

You can read the entire Rumson review here.


"...By turns contemplative, wistful and joyous, it's a highlight..."

— Jon Burlingame, music journalist, The New York Times, Variety, The Los Angeles Times


"...exciting, daring adventures in contemporary music."

— Tom Schulte, AMG All Music Guide


"...jazz hued spikiness... The scherzo closer works surprisingly well, coming off as a slam bang coda in the way the last measures of Beethoven’s first Razumovsky quartet do....
a palpable level of motivic economy, confident and easy manner of melodic speech, and clear sense of crafty sophistication. "

— David Cleary, New Music Connoisseur

1. Moderato    
Moderato, pg. 1
2. Lento; Andante    
Lento; Andante page 1
3. Scherzo    
Scherzo, pg. 1
top S

© 2000-2019 by Alex Shapiro. All rights reserved to design and content.