Press Room

Alessio Bax wins 2013 Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award

“Perhaps the most elegant of today’s young pianists” —New Yorker


Alessio Bax, the fast-rising pianist whose accolades include first prizes in the Leeds and Hamamatsu international piano competitions, as well as an Avery Fisher Career Grant, is the 2013 recipient of the Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award. The list of previous winners of the $25,000 prize encompasses such artists as Jeremy Denk, Jeffrey Kahane, Anne-Marie McDermott, and Wu Han. This month Bax also makes his Carnegie Hall debut with Argentine cellist Sol Gabetta (March 18), and returns to the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for a pair of concerts (March 14).

Bay Chamber Concerts artistic director Manuel Bagorro stated: “We are delighted to add Alessio’s name to the list of wonderful artists who have been awarded this prize. Alessio’s electrifying virtuosity, combined with great elegance and intense musicality will add so much to our summer season this year, as well as in 2014 and 2015. His commitment to chamber music and his intuitive approach to programming offer opportunities for our audiences to experience innovative, collaborative music making of the very highest quality.”

As recipient of the Andrew Wolf Award, the Italian pianist will be a guest artist for the next three seasons with Bay Chamber Concerts in Rockport, Maine. For his first residency – and his Maine debut – Bax will collaborate with Sospiro Winds in repertoire for piano and winds (July 17-19). The July 17 and 18 programs will present Barber’s Summer Music and Mozart’s Quintet in E-flat, K. 452, as well as Schumann’s Fantasiestücke for clarinet and piano, and solo piano pieces by Rachmaninov. On July 19, Bax and Sospiro will perform Poulenc’s Trio, Op. 43 and the Sextet for piano and wind quintet, and Paco D’Rivera’s Aires Tropicales; the pianist will conclude the program with solo Rachmaninov.

March appearances at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center
Bax is playing chamber music in two top New York City venues this month. When he performed last season at the Kennedy Center with Argentine cellist Sol Gabetta – Gramophone’s 2010 Young Artist of the Year – the Washington Post marveled: “Bax’s musical imagination took wing. … In phrase after phrase, he sculpted lines of logic and elegance. … [Bax’s] virtuosity was all the more impressive because he still kept his sound proportional to his partner.” On March 18, he and Gabetta reunite for a program of Beethoven, Rachmaninov, and Shostakovich at Weill Recital Hall, marking the pianist’s Carnegie Hall debut. This follows his return to the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, where his most recent appearance prompted the New York Times’s Steve Smith to observe: “Bax started the concert alone with as satisfying an account of Beethoven’s Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp (‘Moonlight’) as I have heard recently.” On March 14 in Lincoln Center’s intimate Rose Studio, Bax partners with violinist and fellow Avery Fisher Career Grant-winner Yura Lee for Enescu’s Sonata No. 3 in A minor. The two performances at 6:30 PM and 9:00 PM are sold out, but the late night concert will be streamed live on the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s website.


Bax juggles his busy schedule of solo recitals and orchestral appearances with frequent collaborations at chamber music festivals around the world. Reviewing the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center on tour, the Calgary Herald singled out Bax, who was “impressive in his wonderful tonal control and fluid, idiomatic playing of the difficult piano part in the Poulenc Sextet.” Scott Cantrell in the Dallas Morning News marveled at Bax’s collaboration with violinist Chee-Yun: “performances so assured, so dramatic, so expressive, so sensitive to melodic and harmonic shape…. Here were two musicians at the top of their games, responding vividly to the music and to each other.” After the pianist’s performance of Hummel’s Septet in D at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, the New York Times wrote, “Almost a piano concerto in miniature, the work provided ample opportunity for the pianist Alessio Bax to show off his flawless technique.”


Bax began the month of March in Dallas with another of his special projects at Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts, where he is a visiting professor. “Folk Tales” – a series of three mixed concerts performed by major concert artists, among them a Grammy winner, a nominee, and three Avery Fisher Career Grant winners – explored the influence of folk music on the idiom of European classical composers.


Last month the pianist added a new recording to his acclaimed discography. Alessio Bax plays Mozart presents the Piano Concertos K. 491 and K. 595 with London’s Southbank Sinfonia led by Simon Over, as well as Mozart’s rarely recorded Eight Solo Variations on Sarti’s “Come un agnello,” K. 460. A second set of variations – on a theme from Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet – is available for download on iTunes.



About the Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award

During the 1930s and 1940s, Rockport was the summer home of the Philadelphia-based Curtis Institute of Music. Musicians from all over the world came to the area to teach and give concerts in July and August in the historic fishing and boat-building village, giving Maine the distinction of hosting one of the earliest of American summer music festivals. The Curtis summer colony was discontinued in 1945, but in 1960, Thomas and Andrew Wolf established Bay Chamber Concerts. Andrew Wolf served as its artistic director for 23 years until his death at the age of 42 in 1985. He was widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading chamber music pianists.Perhaps best known through his concerts with Isaac Stern, he collaborated with many artists including the cellists Leonard Rose and Leslie Parnas, as well as the Vermeer Quartet.


In early 1986, Andrew Wolf’s friends and colleagues established a specially endowed prize that would encourage other chamber music pianists. Because Wolf was philosophically opposed to musical competition, which could damage the careers of those who did not win, the procedure for selecting the recipient of the Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award involves a process of confidential nominations and a review of nominees through tapes and public performances. Only the names of award recipients are announced to the public.

The award recipient must be a pianist under the age of forty who is an American citizen or a permanent resident of the United States, and who has made a serious commitment and contribution to the chamber music field. In addition to a cash prize of $25,000, the recipient is given additional concert engagements. The first Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award was presented in the summer of 1987 to pianist Jeffrey Kahane, and Alessio Bax now joins the distinguished list of recipients as the 2013 honoree. The complete list is available at


A complete list of the pianist’s upcoming engagements follows, and additional information may be found at his web site:



Alessio Bax: upcoming spring engagements


March 14: New York, NY

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

Rose Studio (6:30 PM; 9 PM-streamed live)

Enescu: Violin Sonata No. 3 in A minor

With Yura Lee


March 18: New York, NY

Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall (debut)

Beethoven: Sonata for cello and piano in A major, Op. 69, No. 3

Shostakovich: Sonata for cello and piano in D minor, Op. 40

Rachmaninov: Sonata for cello and piano in G minor, Op. 19

With Sol Gabetta


March 23:New York, NY

Jerome L. Greene Performance Space

WQXR Bach Lounge (live broadcast and webcast)

Bach Transcribed(selections)


March 25: Kuwait City

Duo recital

With Lucille Chung


April 5-7: San Diego, CA

Mainly Mozart

Quintet Concert with Arnaud Sussman, Steve Copes, Efe Baltacigil, and Richard O’Neill


April 12: Aurora, ON

Duo recital

With Lucille Chung


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 / Enrique Diemecke

Ravel: Concerto in G


April 30: Boston, MA

Boston Conservatory Piano Masters Series, Seully Hall



May 1: Boston, MA

Boston Conservatory

Master class


May 2: Cincinnati, OH

Matinee Musicale

With Lucille Chung


May 4: Minneapolis, MN

University of Minnesota

Master class


May 5: St. Paul, MN

Frederic Chopin Society

Solo recital and duo with Lucille Chung


May 6: Minneapolis, MN

Studio taping for APM’s Performance Today

With Lucille Chung


May 10: Bellingham, WA          



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 / Ken-David Masur

Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church

Barber: Piano Concerto


May 31-June 1: Muskegon, MI

West Michigan Symphony / Scott Speck

Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2


Return to Press Room