Rising star of classical world set to take GV stage
What: InConcert Sierra presents Alessio Bax, piano
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 31, 6:15 p.m. pre-concert forum
Where: Seventh-day Adventist Church, 12889 Osborne Hill Road, Grass Valley
Tickets: $45 general; $40 season ticket holders/key level donors available at BriarPatch Co-op, online at inconcertsierra.org
or by phone 530-273-3990
Tuesday, InConcert Sierra will present Alessio Bax in a solo piano recital in Grass Valley. Never heard of him? You soon will, says Julie Hardin, executive director of the nonprofit arts organization hosting the Italian pianist.
“He’s definitely one of (classical musicians) to watch,” Julie Hardin said, adding his name is one people will be hearing in the future.
“He’s got everything it takes to be a superstar of the classical world — charisma, technique, passion,” she said.
Bax’s Grass Valley recital Tuesday will end a busy month for him, having already performed in London, Mexico City, Baltimore, Santa Barbara and Florida.
“We’re very excited to hear this young performer, whose name is certain to appear in music appreciation texts for future generations. He’s that good,” said InConcert Artistic Director Ken Hardin.
According to his bio, Bax graduated with top honors at the record age of 14 from the conservatory of his hometown in Bari, Italy, where he studied with Angela Montemurro. He studied in France and attended the Chigiana Academy in Siena. In 1994 he moved to Dallas to continue his studies Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts, where he is now a member of the faculty. He now lives in New York City with his wife, pianist Lucille Chung and their newborn baby.
Bax most recently completed a tour with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in February. This past fall, Bax toured with violinist Joshua Bell, the most famous violinist in the world today, who will also be performing in Grass Valley Oct. 18.
After opening the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s season as soloist in a pair of Mozart concertos, Bax concertized with Bell on a U.S. tour, including stops at Disney Hall in Los Angeles, Jones Hall in Houston, and the AT&T Center’s Winspear Opera House in Dallas. The pair closed out the year on an extensive European tour, according to InConcert Sierra.
In 2014, Bax and Bell also toured five South American countries, winning over audiences and critics. The newspaper El País in Montevideo declared: “It will be very difficult to surpass the musical quality of these two magnificent musicians. Alessio Bax was the revelation of the night. [He] deserves to be called ‘The Poet of the Piano’ in the way that Joshua Bell is ‘The Poet of the Violin.’”
Bax’s program Tuesday will include Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, Scriabin’s Piano Sonata No. 3 in F-sharp Minor, and Moussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.”
“This program is fantastic,” said Ken Hardin. “One of our board members was at the Music@Menlo performance and begged us to request Alessio to play the Pictures at an Exhibition. As for the Moonlight Sonata, we rarely get this exquisite piece on a program because it’s thought of as an old warhorse, and yet everybody loves it, especially when it’s played masterfully and with brilliant technique. You may never have heard the Moonlight Sonata like you will at this concert.”
Julie Hardin said she has been listening to Bax’s clips almost daily in anticipation of his performance.
“He’s pretty amazing,” she added.
Tickets to the Tuesday recital are $45 for general admission and $40 for season ticket holders/key level donors of InConcert Sierra. They are available at BriarPatch Co-op, online at inconcertsierra.org or by phone at 530-273-3990.
This concert is sponsored by Dr. Dennis McShane and the Honorable Rich Gordon; and Julia Amaral and Mark Strate.
Features Editor Brett Bentley can be reached at bbentley@theunion. com or by calling 530-477-4219.
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