Alexander Murray’s deep and varied career spans 75 years of involvement in music. Born in 1929 in South Shields, England, he was sent as a boy, in 1940, to live in South Africa for the duration of World War II. During his first year in Cape Town, he studied with 21-year-old David Sandeman. After four years without instruction but playing in the University Orchestra in Johannesburg, he won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music. Following draft years in the Royal Air Force, a French Government Scholarship took him to Paris and study with Gaston Crunelle at the Conservatory. There he was awarded first prize playing Messiaen’s newly composed Merle Noir.
During the 1950s, he was principal flutist, initially with the Royal Opera in London and then with the London Symphony Orchestra. He married dancer Joan Elvin in 1954.
Also in the 1950s he and Joan began training as teachers of the Alexander Technique taught by Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869–1955) in London from 1904. Through the following decades both Alex and Joan worked with many first-generation teachers and incorporated the technique into their own work. They have helped introduce their findings to musicians and broader constituencies in the United States.