Alethea Katherine UCLA Luskin Pianist

Ever since I was a small child, music has been a part of my life.  When I was very little, my parents would play Mozart in the house, and turn on the local classical music radio station during long car rides.  I loved Bach, Debussy, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, danced to many of them in ballet class... but I never knew what true love was until I discovered film music.

There was something about film music that absolutely enchanted me.  Perhaps it is the ability of the music to paint a portrait, a world, a story - the ostinato of soft snowfall becoming a whirling blizzard, an arpeggio of stormy seas rocking a lone boat.  Music is speechless, wordless, and yet it can tell a story every bit as vivid and vibrant as any novelist's or poet's work.

It wasn't simply a matter of destiny or fate - the feeling of listening to film music, of creating music myself - it was the feeling of falling in love for the first time.  An adventure - a thrill.

I thought, when I applied to college, that I'd have to give up that dream - that in the name of chasing my love for engineering, I'd be automatically surrendering any chance at a future in music.  That all changed when I found myself, of all places, at UCLA.

Photograph by Felicia Caldwell.  UCLA Luskin Conference Center, 2019.

Being at UCLA was the best thing that could possibly have happened to me - right next to Hollywood, a few miles from many of the most well-known recording studios and film composers.  I found myself an internship with John Swihart (Sonic Gravy, Inc.; "How I Met Your Mother," "Switched At Birth").  I began studying with Professor Peter Golub, director for the Sundance Film Music Program.  I joined UCLA's Bruin Film Society and FPS (Film and Photography Society) Productions, sat in on classes in orchestration, met James Horner's wife (Horner scored films such as "Titanic," "Avatar," "Braveheart") and Howard Shore (Lord of the Rings) and Snuffy Walden ("The West Wing," "The Wonder Years").  I met the music director for Lionsgate, who is himself a UCLA alumni, and joined the Alliance for Women Film Composers.

When I write, I don't want to just put notes down on paper, or play a few chords on a keyboard.  I want to bring all the passion, love, wonder I felt when I heard a film soundtrack for the first time.  I love writing music with all my heart.  I believe music is not just about the sound in your ears: it is the emotions you feel, the worlds you imagine, the things you see and sense.  Music is a first snowfall, a last kiss, a first goodbye, a final heartbreak, a first sunset, a final sunrise, everything in between.

Take me on your journey with you - and let's make something special together.

Photograph by Benjamin Nieves.  The Recording Place in Rocklin, California - 2019.

Alethea is also a performance pianist and is more than happy to perform at gigs.  In 2019, she was invited to become a regular pianist for UCLA's state-of-the-art Luskin Conference Center and the associated restaurant, Plateia.  She was also filmed by UCLA Housing for a feature story for UCLA Newsroom, and has been invited to perform at multiple gigs on campus, including at the Northwest Campus Auditorium.   She is actively looking for any internships or opportunities in the film music industry, and her resume is available upon request.

To contact Alethea directly, please send an email to

see my music portfolio


for me, music wasn't just destiny or fate -

it was falling in love for the first time.

my music