Pianist Alessio Bax’s quintessential lyricism, insightful interpretations, and dazzling facility create “a ravishing listening experience,” with playing that “quivers with an almost hypnotic intensity” (Gramophone), leading to what Dallas Morning News calls “an out-of-body experience.” 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 100 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 with Sir Simon Rattle.
Hailed by International Piano as “a pianist of refreshing depth,” Bax boasts an extensive concerto repertoire, which he puts to work this season playing Beethoven in Italy, Alabama, and Virginia; Brahms in Santa Rosa, California; Schumann in Santa Barbara; and returning to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra for MacDowell’s Concerto No. 2 under Bramwell Tovey. Finally, he collaborates twice with Miguel Harth-Bedoya: on Mozart with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, where Harth-Bedoya is principal conductor, and on Tchaikovsky with the Orquesta Nacional de España in Madrid.
In summer 2015, Bax played 14 festivals on three continents, including his Minnesota Orchestra debut under Andrew Litton and return to Bravo! Vail with the Dallas Symphony and Jaap van Zweden. He opened the Colorado Symphony’s 2015-16 season, and undertook a recital tour of South America, crowned by two concerts at the famed Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, where he and Chung also played Mozart’s Concerto for Two Pianos with the Filarmónica de Buenos Aires. He toured Asia twice, first with Joshua Bell and then with Daishin Kashimoto; collaborated for the first time with the Emerson String Quartet; played four-hand piano concerts with Lucille Chung in Canada; returned to the CMS for engagements in New York and on tour; and played a solo recital at the Cliburn Concerts series in Fort Worth. He released a solo album of Mussorgsky and Scriabin, joined Chung on her new disc of Poulenc piano works, and released Lullabies for Mila, a collection dedicated to their baby daughter, all on the Signum Classics label.
Other highlights of recent seasons include Mozart with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra under Hans Graf; Mozart and Rachmaninov with London’s Southbank Sinfonia led by Simon Over and Vladimir Ashkenazy, respectively; and concerts at L.A.’s Disney Hall, Washington’s Kennedy Center, and New York’s Carnegie Hall. He opened – with a pair of Mozart piano concertos – and closed the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s 2014-15 season, partnered with Joshua Bell, for more than 35 concerts in Europe, North and South America, and Asia, and with Lucille Chung in the U.S., Canada, France, and Hong Kong. In 2013, he received the Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award and Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award, which recognizes young artists of exceptional accomplishment.
The pianist is a staple on the international summer festival circuit, and has performed at England’s International Piano Series and Aldeburgh and Bath festivals; the Verbier Festival in Switzerland; the Risør Festival in Norway; and the Ruhr Klavier-Festival and Beethovenfest Bonn in Germany. He has also appeared multiple times at the Bard Music Festival in upstate New York, and has given recitals at New York’s Lincoln Center and other major music halls around the world, including those of Rome, Milan, Bilbao, Madrid, Paris, London, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, Mexico City, and Washington, DC. As a chamber musician, Bax has collaborated with Emanuel Ax, Sol Gabetta, Steven Isserlis, Nicholas Phan, Paul Watkins, and Jörg Widmann, among many others.
Bax’s celebrated discography for Signum Classics includes Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” and “Moonlight” Sonatas (a Gramophone “Editor’s Choice”); Bax & Chung, a duo disc with Lucille Chung that includes Stravinsky’s original four-hand version of the ballet Pétrouchka as well as music by Brahms and Piazzolla; Alessio Bax plays Mozart, comprising Piano Concertos K. 491 and K. 595 with London’s Southbank Sinfonia and Simon Over; Alessio Bax plays Brahms (a Gramophone “Critics’ Choice”); Bach Transcribed; and Rachmaninov: Preludes & Melodies (an American Record Guide “Critics’ Choice 2011”). Recorded for Warner Classics, his Baroque Reflections album was also a Gramophone “Editor’s Choice.” He performed Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” Sonata for maestro Daniel Barenboim in the PBS-TV documentary Barenboim on Beethoven: Masterclass, available as a DVD boxed set on the EMI label. His performances have been broadcast live on the BBC (UK); CBC (Canada); RAI (Italy); RTVE (Spain); NHK (Japan); WDR, NDR, and Bayerischer Rundfunk (Germany); American Public Media’s “Performance Today”; WQXR (New York); WGBH (Boston); WETA (Washington, DC); and SiriusXM satellite radio, among many others.
Alessio Bax graduated with top honors at the record age of 14 from the conservatory of Bari, his hometown in Italy, where his teacher was Angela Montemurro. He studied in France with Francois-Joël Thiollier and attended the Chigiana Academy in Siena under Joaquín Achúcarro. In 1994 he moved to Dallas to continue his studies with Achúcarro at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, where, with Lucille Chung, he is now the Johnson-Prothro Artist-in-Residence. He also serves with Chung as co-artistic director of Dallas’ Joaquín Achúcarro Foundation, created to cultivate the legacy of the Basque pianist and to support young pianists’ careers. A Steinway artist, Bax resides in New York City with Chung and their two-year-old daughter, Mila. Outside the concert hall he is known for his longtime obsession with fine food; as a 2013 New York Times profile noted, he is not only notorious for hosting “epic” multi-course dinner parties, but often spends his intermissions dreaming of meals to come.