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Alessio Bax’s summer of festivals: Vail, Bard, Spain & more

The Italian-born pianist and Leeds competition winner Alessio Bax, who has been winning critical raves for the warmth of his performances of Rachmaninoff and Brahms, will bring his “impassioned, world-class” artistry (Classics Today) to festivals this summer throughout the U.S. and Spain. Among the nine festivals on his calendar are debuts at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival in Colorado (Aug 4) and Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival on Long Island (Aug 12), and his return to the Bard Music Festival in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York (Aug 18). 


The inveterate frequent flier launched his summer in Spain and London with concerto performances of Poulenc and Mozart before giving a recital and master class at the Southeastern Piano Festival in South Carolina last month. In July he returns to the Mimir Chamber Music Festival in Fort Worth, Texas, where he performs works by Enescu, Glazunov and Tchaikovsky (July 8, 10). Last summer the Dallas Morning News praised the “heart-stopping beauty” of one of his Mimir performances: “Pianist Alessio Bax supplied a Rachmaninov Cello Sonata hard to outdo for emotional commitment, technical accomplishment and expressive eloquence.”


After Mimir Bax heads north to give a master class at the Young Artist World Piano Festival in Minneapolis (July 15), where he also performs a recital (July 14) and serves as festival judge (July 13), followed by duo recitals with his wife and frequent duo partner, pianist Lucille Chung, in Midland, Canada (July 27) and at the Dakota Sky Piano Festival in Sioux Falls, South Dakota (July 30). The UK magazine Music and Arts has observed, “Theirs is a marriage of wondrous colours and dexterous aplomb, subtly balanced to make a musical performance sound as one.” 


Bax appears for the first time at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival in Colorado (Aug 4), where he performs in an event that was just selected as one of “The 2012 Bravo Top 5” by the Vail Daily: a two-piano extravaganza with fellow pianists Anne-Marie McDermott, Pedja Muzijevic, and Stephen Prutsman—featuring works by Saint-Saëns, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich, Copland and Brahms. August finds Bax on the East Coast for chamber music by Schubert in his debut at the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival on Long Island (Aug 12) and works by Saint-Saëns and Dukas at the Bard Music Festival “Saint-Saëns and His World” in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York (Aug 18). In the latter part of August, Bax heads to the Gijon Piano Festival in Spain for a recital (Aug 21) and master class (Aug 22), and then returns to the U.S. for solo and chamber music performances at the Chamber Music Festival of Lexington in Kentucky (Aug 27-Sept 2), where he performs on a concert program that includes the world premiere of a new piano quartet by Chris Rogerson.


Alessio Bax, first prize winner at the Leeds and Hamamatsu international piano competitions, received an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2009. He has appeared as soloist with more than 90 orchestras worldwide, 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. His newest recording, Rachmaninov: Preludes and Melodies (Signum Records), is an American Record Guide “2011 Critics’ Choice.” His acclaimed discography includes Bach Transcribed and Baroque Reflections (Gramophone “Editor’s Choice”). In January, Bax recorded solo piano music by Brahms in the UK, to be released by Signum this fall, and in June he recorded Mozart’s Piano Concertos K. 491 and K. 595 with Simon Over and the Southbank Sinfonia in London. At age 14, Bax graduated with top honors from the conservatory of his hometown, Bari, Italy, and after further studies in Europe moved to the U.S. in 1994. He resides in New York City with his wife, pianist Lucille Chung.



Acclaim for Alessio Bax


“Since winning the prestigious Leeds Competition in 2000, Bax has matured into a one of the most compelling pianists around. … There’s dazzling virtuosity where called for, but more impressive is his way of shaping the music, warmly caressing phrases … glorious music-making.”

Dallas Morning News, July 2011


“Mr. Bax, who counts a 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant among his numerous awards and accolades, is worth getting excited about.”

—    New York Times


“Bax ravages the keyboard, remolding the ivories into sonic sculptures that light up an auditorium.” — Time Out New York



Alessio Bax: upcoming summer engagements


July 8, 10

Fort Worth, TX

Mimir Chamber Music Festival

Enescu: Sonata for Violin and Piano in A minor, Op. 25

Glazunov: Elegy in D-flat for Cello and Piano, Op. 17

Tchaikovsky: Piano Trio in A minor, Op. 50

Nathan Cole, Stephen Rose, violin; Brant Taylor, cello


July 13-15

Minneapolis, MN

Young Artist World Piano Festival

Competition judge, master class, recital


July 27

Midland, Ontario, Canada

St. Paul’s United Church

Duo recital with pianist Lucille Chung


July 30

Sioux Falls, SD

Dakota Sky International Piano Festival

Schubert: Fantasy in F minor

Brahms: Sixteen Waltzes, Op. 39; Sonata Op. 43b

Duo recital with pianist Lucille Chung


Aug 4

Vail, CO

Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival

Works for Two Pianos

Saint-Saëns: Variations on a Theme of Beethoven, Op 35

Rachmaninoff: Suite No. 2, Op. 17

Shostakovich: Concertino for Two Pianos, Op. 94

Copland (arr. Bernstein): El Salon Mexico

Brahms: Selected waltzes for two pianos, Op. 39

Milhaud: Scaramouche, Op. 165b

Anne-Marie McDermott, Pedja Muzijevic, Stephen Prutsman, piano


Aug 12

Bridgehampton, NY

Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival

Schubert: Piano Trio in B-flat, D 898

Joseph Lin, violin; Carter Brey, cello


Aug 18

Annandale-on-Hudson, NY

Bard Music Festival: Saint-Saëns and His World

Saint-Saëns: Septet for Trumpet, Piano and String Quintet, Op. 65

Dukas: Variations, Interlude, and Finale on a Theme by Rameau

Carl Albach, trumpet; Bradley Brookshire, harpsichord; Jordan Frazier, Nathan Stark, double bass; Marka Gustavsson, viola; Katie Lansdale, violin; Robert Martin, cello; Andrea Schultz, violin; Jamie Van Eyck, mezzo-soprano; Orion Weiss, piano


Aug 21

Gijon, Spain

Gijon Piano Festival

Recital and master class


Aug 27-Sept 2

Lexington, KY

Chamber Music Festival of Lexington

Chris Rogerson: Piano Quintet (world premiere)

Solo recital and chamber music

Nathan Cole, Akiko Tarumoto, violin; Andrew Bain, horn; Pricilla Lee, cello; Burchard Tang, viola



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© 21C Media Group, July 2012

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