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). Since taking first prizes at the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition and the Hamamatsu International Piano Competition in Japan, Bax has won audiences across the globe. In 2009 he was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant, one of the most prestigious prizes in classical music.
Highlights of Bax’s 2011/12 season include appearances as soloist with the Dallas Symphony under Jaap van Zweden, orchestras in London, Bilbao, Castilla y León and Mexico City, a return to Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, and the opening night of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s season at Alice Tully Hall where he is in his third year as a member of CMS Two. A new solo album, “Rachmaninov: Preludes and Melodies” (Signum Classics), was released in June, adding to his already acclaimed discography. In July Bax played a Brahms “Carte Blanche” recital and chamber music in his eagerly anticipated return to Music@Menlo. Also this season he performs recitals in Iceland, Cyprus, Rome, Taipei, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing, France and Spain, tours Canada with pianist Lucille Chung, and collaborates with violinist Karen Gomyo in Toronto, as well as with cellist Sol Gabetta at the Kennedy Center, under the auspices of the Washington Performing Arts Society.
During the 2010/11 season, Bax appeared with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in the UK, Vancouver Symphony, Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra and the Colorado Symphony under Marin Alsop, and he played solo recitals at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Harriman-Jewell series in Kansas City. His extensive concerto repertoire has led to performances with over 90 orchestras, including the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Royal Scottish National, Dallas Symphony, Houston Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Rome Symphony, Spanish Radio and Television Orchestra, and the NHK Symphony Orchestra. He has worked with a number of esteemed conductors such as Marin Alsop, Sergiu Commissiona, Alexander Dimitriev, Vernon Handley, Jacques Lacombe, Jonathan Nott, Vasily Petrenko, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Dimitry Sitkovetsky, Christopher Warren-Greene and Sir Simon Rattle.
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 performed in recital at music halls in Rome, Milan, Madrid, Mexico City, Paris, London, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, New York, and Washington, DC. Also an active chamber musician, he has collaborated with Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Andrés Diaz, Pamela Frank, Steven Isserlis and Anne-Marie McDermott, among others.
Bax’s 2009 CD, Bach Transcribed, 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’s Carnival 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 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.
In 2005, Alessio 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 are often broadcast live on the BBC, CBC (Canada), RAI (Italy), RTVE (Spain), NHK (Japan), WDR, NDR and Bayerische Rundfunk (Germany), Hungarian Radio Television, Serbian RTE, among others.
Alessio 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. He is now on the teaching faculty there. He and his wife, pianist Lucille Chung, reside in New York City. Alessio Bax is a Steinway artist.
Mary Lynn Fixler
Soloists / Conductors
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