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Alessio Bax

Piano Masters Series 2012-2013

Pianist Alessio Bax is praised for creating “a ravishing listening experience” with his lyrical playing, insightful interpretations and dazzling facility. “His playing quivers with an almost hypnotic intensity,” says Gramophone Magazine, leading to “an out-of-body experience” (Dallas Morning News).  First prize winner at the Leeds and Hamamatsu international piano competitions and a 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, he has appeared as soloist with more than 90 orchestras, including the London and Royal Philharmonic orchestras, Dallas and Houston symphonies, NHK Symphony in Japan, St. Petersburg Philharmonic with Yuri Temirkanov and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with Sir Simon Rattle. This season, Bax returns as soloist with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic under Temirkanov for the opening concert of the St. Petersburg Winter Festival, and collaborates with Finnish conductor Pietari Inkinen in Denmark. He performs solo recitals in New York City at Rockefeller University, at The Boston Conservatory’s Piano Masters Series, at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C., at the Chopin Society in Saint Paul and at Spivey Hall in Atlanta, as well as in Venezuela, South Korea and Japan. Bax makes his Carnegie Hall debut at Weill Recital Hall with cellist Sol Gabetta, with whom he appeared last season at the Kennedy Center. He also returns to the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and tours with violinist Chee-Yun, as well as his frequent duo partner, pianist Lucille Chung. October marks the release of Alessio Bax Plays Brahms on the Signum Records label, featuring the four Ballades, op. 10, Klavierstücke, op. 76 and both books of the Paganini Variations, op. 35

Highlights of Bax’s recent seasons include appearances with the Dallas Symphony under Jaap van Zweden and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in the UK, debuts at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and the 92nd Street Y, and performances with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, where he recently completed three seasons as a member of CMS Two. This past summer, Bax participated in nine different festivals in the U.S. and Spain, including first appearances at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival and Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, and a return to the Bard Music Festival.  He performed and recorded Mozart’s Piano Concertos K. 491 and K. 595 with the Southbank Sinfonia in London for release by Signum Records in 2013. Bax’s most recent disc in his acclaimed discography, Rachmaninov: Preludes and Melodies (Signum Records), received critical praise across the board. Classics Today hailed it as “impassioned, world-class Rachmaninov,” and American Record Guide designated it as a “Critics’ Choice 2011.” Bax’s 2009 CD, Bach Transcribed, also received rave reviews from Gramophone Magazine (“awesome”) and Fanfare (“this disc is a must”). Baroque Reflections, his 2004 recording for Warner Classics, was selected as a Gramophone Editor’s Choice” and American Record Guide “Critics’ Choice” (“a disc to treasure”). In 2005, Bax and pianist Lucille Chung recorded Saint-Saëns’sCarnival of the Animals with conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. They have also recorded the complete works for two pianos and piano four hands of György Ligeti on Dynamic Records. In addition, Bax has chronicled the complete works for piano and organ of Marcel Dupré for Naxos, and Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1 live with the New Japan Philharmonic, for Fontec. Also on Fontec, Bax released a live recording of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Hamamatsu Symphony Orchestra. Bax’s extensive concerto repertoire has led to performances with such esteemed conductors as Marin Alsop, Sergiu Commissiona, Alexander Dimitriev, Vernon Handley, Jacques Lacombe, Jonathan Nott, Vasily Petrenko, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Sir Simon Rattle, Dimitry Sitkovetsky, Yuri Temirkanov, Christopher Warren-Greene and Jaap van Zweden. His festival appearances include London’s International Piano Series (Queen Elizabeth Hall), the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, England’s Aldeburgh and Bath festivals, and the Ruhr Klavierfestival, BeethovenFest and Schloss Elmau in Germany. Bax has given recitals at major music halls in Rome, Milan, Madrid, Mexico City, Paris, London, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, New York and Washington, DC. An active chamber musician, he has collaborated with Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Andrés Diaz, Pamela Frank, Steven Isserlis and Anne-Marie McDermott, among others. 

In 2005, Bax was selected to play the Fugue of Beethoven’s Hammerklavier Sonata for Maestro Daniel Barenboim in Barenboim on Beethoven. The documentary was produced by Channel 13/PBS in conjunction with Bel Air Media, BBC and NHK Japan. It was broadcast worldwide and released as a DVD box set in 2006 on the EMI label. His performances have been broadcast live on the BBC, CBC (Canada), RAI (Italy), RTVE (Spain), NHK (Japan), WDR, NDR and Bayerische Rundfunk (Germany), Hungarian Radio Television, Serbian RTE, WQXR (New York) and American Public Media’s Performance Today, among others. 

Bax graduated with top honors at the record age of 14 from the conservatory of his hometown in Bari, Italy. He studied in France with François-Joël Thiollier and attended the Chigiana Academy in Siena under Joaquín Achúcarro. He moved to Dallas in 1994 to continue his studies with Achúcarro at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, and he is now on the teaching faculty there. He and his wife, pianist Lucille Chung, reside in New York City. Bax is a Steinway artist.

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