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Alessio Bax: 2 CDs, St. Petersburg Philharmonic & more in 2012-13

Leeds Competition-winner Alessio Bax will expand his already distinguished discography with two new recordings during the 2012-13 season, both on the Signum Classics label: his solo album Alessio Bax Plays Brahms (Oct 30) and a disc of Mozart’s Piano Concertos in C minor, K. 491 and B-flat, K. 595 with England’s Southbank Sinfonia (Feb 28). The C-minor Concerto is the vehicle for a number of the Italian-born pianist’s upcoming concerto collaborations, including his return to the St. Petersburg Philharmonic under Yuri Temirkanov for the opening concert of the St. Petersburg Winter Festival (Dec 14). For New Yorkers, the new season offers opportunities to hear Bax live when he gives a solo recital of Rachmaninov and Mussorgsky at Rockefeller University (Nov 28); returns for two dates with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (Nov 18, March 14); makes his Carnegie Hall debut with cellist Sol Gabetta (March 18); and is featured in a multi-media collaboration at WQXR’s The Greene Space (Jan 21). Additional recital engagements take the pianist to Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, St. Paul, Washington DC, South Korea and Japan, while further chamber music highlights include duo recitals with violinist Chee-Yun and with his wife and fellow pianist, Lucille Chung.
Bax’s most recent solo recording, Rachmaninov: Preludes and Melodies, was hailed as “impassioned, world-class Rachmaninov” (Classics Today), while American Record Guide named it a “2011 Critics’ Choice.” Alessio Bax Plays Brahms, available October 30, comprises the rarely performed Four Ballades, Op. 10; Klavierstücke, Op. 76; Variations on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 35, Books I and II; and Hungarian Dance No. 5 (arr. Cziffra/Bax). The New York Times called his live performance of the Ballades at the Metropolitan Museum “notable for its poetic flexibility and lyrical reserve,” and concluded, “Mr. Bax, who counts a 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant among his numerous awards and accolades, is worth getting excited about.” The Herald Tribune was impressed by Bax’s way with Mozart’s Piano Concerto, K. 491 last season. The critic admired the “truly collaborative performance by the orchestra and the gifted Italian pianist, Alessio Bax,” and noted that the results were “deeply satisfying.” This concerto will be featured on Bax’s first orchestral recording for Signum Classics, Mozart: Piano Concertos K. 491 & K. 595, recorded with Simon Over leading England’s Southbank Sinfonia, and slated for release on February 28.
Mozart’s dark and masterful C-minor concerto figures prominently in the pianist’s programming over the coming season. Besides returning for his second appearance of the year with Russia’s legendary St. Petersburg Philharmonic under music director Yuri Temirkanov on December 14, Bax performs the concerto with California’s Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra (May 14), Oregon’s Eugene Symphony (Jan 17), and ProMusica in Columbus, Ohio (Nov 10-11) where he will also conduct from the keyboard. Bax also will appear as soloist in such cornerstones of the concerto literature as Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto with Denmark’s Aalborg Symphony under Finnish conductor Pietari Inkinen (Sep 20) and in South Dakota; Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto in Colombia; Rachmaninov’s Second in Wisconsin and his Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini in Kentucky; Brahms’s Second Piano Concerto and Ravel’s jazzy G-major Concerto in California.
According to Time Out New York, on the recital stage “Bax ravages the keyboard, remolding the ivories into sonic sculptures that light up an auditorium.” The pianist looks forward to a full program of solo appearances in 2012-13. He offers his signature Brahms and Rachmaninov at Friends of Music at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC (Nov 4-5), Dallas’s brand new City Performance Hall (Oct 2) and Atlanta’s Spivey Hall (Oct 7), and couples Rachmaninov with Mussorgsky in Rockefeller University’s evening series in New York (Nov 28) as well as in Portland, OR (Jan 6), Seoul, South Korea (Oct 22) and on a four-date Japanese tour (Oct 17-20). Other recital highlights include Boston Conservatory’s prestigious “Piano Masters” series (April 30), and the pianist may also be heard on Boston radio, in WGBH’s “Drive Time Live” series (Nov 2). 
A recent appearance with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, where Bax completed three seasons as a member of CMS Two, prompted the New York Times to admire “his flawless technique.” On November 18, the pianist returns to CMS at Alice Tully Hall for a solo spot in Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata and chamber music by Mendelssohn and Bloch, before joining violinist Yura Lee in Enescu four months later (March 14). Also in New York, Bax makes his Carnegie Hall debut with Argentinian cellist Sol Gabetta at Weill Recital Hall, following their successful Kennedy Center date, at which the Washington Post marveled, “Bax’s musical imagination took wing. … In phrase after phrase, he sculpted lines of logic and elegance” (March 18).
The pianist’s other chamber music high points include duo recitals in Washington, DC (Oct 28), Miami (Feb 17), and Dallas (Sep 29) with violinist and fellow Avery Fisher Career Grant-winner Chee-Yun; and at the Frederic Chopin Society in Saint Paul, MN (May 5), Cincinnati, OH (Oct 30), and Kuwait City (March 25) and more, with his wife and regular duo partner, Lucille Chung. Bax and Chung are the featured artists for a multimedia presentation with visual artist Carmen Kordas on January 21, presented by the Original Music Workshop at New York’s The Greene Space. Their performance of Stravinsky’s “Petrouchka” will be webcast live on As the UK’s Music and Arts magazine observes, “Theirs is a marriage of wondrous colors and dexterous aplomb, subtly balanced to make a musical performance sound as one.
This past summer, Bax participated in nine different festivals in the U.S. and Spain, including debuts at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival and Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, and a return to the Bard Music Festival. Highlights of recent seasons include appearances with the Dallas Symphony under Jaap van Zweden and the UK’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and debuts at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and 92nd Street Y.
A complete list of the pianist’s upcoming engagements follows, and additional information may be found at his web site:
Alessio Bax: upcoming engagements, 2012-13
Sep 9; Maracaibo, Venezuela
Festival del Nuevo Mundo
Solo and chamber music with Dali Quartet;
Master class with El Sistema students
Sep 14; Lexington, KY
Lexington Philharmonic
Rachmaninov: Variations on a Theme of Paganini
Sep 20; Aalborg, Denmark
Aalborg Symfoniorkester / Pietari Inkinen
Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1
Sep 29; Dallas, TX
Southern Methodist University
Recital with Chee-Yun
Beethoven: Sonatas Nos. 8 & 9
Busoni: Sonata No. 2
Sept. 29; Dallas; TX
Joaquin Achucarro Foundation
Master class
Oct 2; Dallas, TX
Dallas Chamber Symphony
City Performance Hall
Recital: Brahms, Rachmaninov, Ravel
Oct 7; Atlanta, GA
Spivey Hall
Recital: Brahms, Rachmaninov, Ravel
Oct 12-13; Bogota, Colombia
Bogota Filarmónica / Enrique Diemecke
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5 “Emperor”
Oct 17-20; Japan tour
   Oct 17: Niigata
   Oct 18: Kunitachi College, Tokyo
   Oct 19: Hamamatsu
   Oct 20: Niigata
Oct 22; Seoul, S. Korea
Oct 28; Washington, D.C.
JCC with Chee-Yun
Oct 30; Cincinnati, OH
Matinee Musicale Cincinnati
With Lucille Chung
Oct 30; Signum Classics CD release
Alessio Bax plays Brahms
Ballades, Op. 10; Klavierstücke, Op. 76; Paganini Variations (Books 1 & 2);
Hungarian Dance No. 5 (arr. Cziffra/Bax)
Nov 2; Boston, MA
WGBH / Classical New England
Drive Time Live radio performance: Bach, Brahms, Rachmaninov
Nov 4-5; Washington, D.C.
Dumbarton Oaks
Nov 10-11; Columbus, OH
ProMusica Chamber Orchestra
Mozart: Piano Concerto K. 491 – conductor & pianist;
Martinu, Mozart w/ Vadim Gluzman
Nov 18; New York, NY
Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
Alice Tully Hall
Beethoven: “Moonlight” Sonata
Mendelssohn: Scherzo from A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Bloch: Three Nocturnes for piano trio
Nov 28; New York, NY
Rockefeller University Evening Series
Recital: Rachmaninov, Mussorgsky
Dec 1; Mt. Kisko, NY
Dec 14; St. Petersburg, Russia
St. Petersburg Philharmonic / Yuri Temirkanov
International Winter Festival 2012 (opening concert)
Mozart: Piano Concerto K. 491
Jan 6, 2013; Portland, OR
Jan 13; Fresno, CA
Philip Lorenz Memorial Keyboard Concerts series recital
Jan 17; Eugene, OR
Eugene Symphony / Danail Rachev
Mozart: Piano Concerto K. 491
Jan 21; New York, NY
Original Music Workshop presentation
The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space; webcast
Stravinsky: Petrouchka with Lucille Chung, visual artist Carmen Kordas
Jan 23; Sioux Falls, SD
Jan 26-27; Sioux Falls, SD
South Dakota Symphony
Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1
Feb 1; La Crosse, WI
La Crosse Symphony / Alexander Platt
Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2
Feb 4; New York, NY
Jupiter Chamber Players
Feb 10; Bogota, Colombia
Feb 17; Miami, FL
Recital with Chee-Yun
Feb 28; Signum Classics CD release
Southbank Sinfonia / Simon Over
Mozart: Piano Concertos K. 491 & 595
March 2, 4, & 5; Dallas, TX
“Folk Tales” SMU Project
March 14; New York, NY;
Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
Rose Studio
Enescu: Violin Sonata no. 3
With Yura Lee
March 18; New York, NY
Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall
Beethoven: Sonata for cello and piano in A, Op. 69, No. 3
Shostakovich: Sonata for cello and piano
Rachmaninov: Sonata for cello and piano in G minor, Op. 19
With Sol Gabetta
March 25; Kuwait City
Duo recital with Lucille Chung
April 5-7; San Diego, CA
Mainly Mozart
Quintet Concert with Arnaud Sussman, Frank Huang, Efe Baltacigil, and Richard O’Neill
April 13; Cornwall, ON
Duo recital with Lucille Chung
April 14; Lakefield, ON
Duo recital with Lucille Chung
April 27; Long Beach, CA
Long Beach Symphony Orchestra / Enrique Diemecke
Ravel: Concerto in G
April 30; Boston, MA
Boston Conservatory Piano Masters Series
Recital (Seully Hall)
May 1; Boston, MA
Boston Conservatory Piano Masters Series
Master class
May 4; Minneapolis, MN
University of Minnesota
Master class
May 5; St. Paul, MN
Frederic Chopin Society
Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center, Macalester College
Solo and duo recital with Lucille Chung
May 14; Santa Barbara, CA
Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra / Heiichiro Ohyama
Mozart: Piano Concerto K. 491
May 17; New York, NY
New York Concert Artists Orchestra
Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church
R. Strauss: Burleske
May 31-June 1; Muskegon, MI
West Michigan Symphony / Scott Speck
Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2
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© 21C Media Group, September 2012





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