Alexandra Hawley was born in New York, daughter of Alexander Williams, principal clarinetist with the N. B. C. Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini, and Frances Blaisdell, the first woman wind player admitted to both the Juilliard School of Music and to the New York Philharmonic. She studied with Murray Panitz of the Philadelphia Orchestra, with Lloyd Gowen at Stanford and with Jean-Pierre Rampal in France. After completing her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees at Stanford University, she lived in Europe for several years, performing in recital and on radio. She made her professional début in the Concertgebouw Recital Hall in Amsterdam, followed by her New York début in Carnegie Recital Hall. Since then she has performed throughout the United States as a soloist and in chamber music ensembles.
Alexandra Hawley was a member of the National Flute Association delegation to the Soviet Union in 1989 and has been invited to perform at the National Flute Conventions in Boston, Los Angeles, San Diego, Kansas City and Las Vegas. She has recorded for the Naxos label, including a CD of the complete works for flute by Robert Muczynski with the composer at the piano, with members of the Stanford Woodwind Quintet, and with guest artist Jean-Pierre Rampal. She is the founder and artistic director of the Avedis Chamber Music series in San Francisco, and is a member of the music department faculty at Stanford University and a founding member of the Stanford Woodwind Quintet.