Alessio Bax

Calendar Highlights: Sept. 21, 2012

Ilona Romule: Creamer Horse (courtesy of Ferrin Gallery)

Art smart: Ceramicist Ilona Romule will be at SMU Monday, Sept. 24, to give the Meadows Visiting Artist Lecture. Romule’s unique work is simultaneously two-and three-dimensional: She draws figures on the sides of her pots and sculpts them partially emerging from the pots as three-dimensional forms. She is a member of the International Academy of Ceramics and has participated in international competitions and exhibitions. The lecture will be held at 7 p.m. in the Greer Garson Screening Room of the Owen Arts Center and is free to the public.

SYZGY: The Meadows new music ensemble SYZGY will open its 2012-13 season Friday, Sept. 28 with a program featuring work by composer John Adams and led by ensemble director Matt Albert. The strings, winds and percussions can be heard at 8 p.m. in Caruth Auditorium. Tickets are $7 for students, faculty and staff. For more information, contact the Meadows Ticket Office, 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

Raúl Coronado

“We the Pueblo of Texas”: The Gilbert Lecture Series kicks off at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, with an event focused on Latino studies and hosted by Raúl Coronado. Coronado is an assistant professor at the University of Chicago, a past resident of SMU as a Bill and Rita Clements Fellow for the Study of Southwestern America, and the author of A World Not to Come: A History of 19th-Century Latino Writing, Print Culture, and the Disenchantment of the World. Coronado is currently working on a study of the historical emergence of queer Latino/a subjectivities; hear all of his insights in DeGolyer Library.

True to Texas: Y’all are in for a treat, because the 2012 State Fair of Texas begins Friday, Sept. 28 and runs daily through Saturday, Oct. 21. The fair kicks off with a ceremony at 7 a.m. and a parade through downtown Dallas at noon. Highlights include the Reliant Starlight Parade, the State Fair Auto Show, livestock shows, the U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, the Chevrolet Main Stage featuring artists like Kellie Pickler and Kevin Fowler, and all the fried food your heart desires. General admission is $16; call 214-565-9931 for more information.

Faculty artistry: Chee-Yun Kim and Alessio Bax are more than SMU faculty members: They are also internationally renowned musicians who have won the Avery Fisher Career Grant. At 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, Chee-Yun will play the violin and Bax the piano as they perform pieces from composers Ferruccio Busoni and Beethoven as part of the Faculty Artist and Distinguished Alumni Recital Series. The performance is in Caruth Auditorium and costs $7 for students, faculty and staff. For more information, contact the Meadows Ticket Office, 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

Calendar Highlights: March 30, 2010

alash-ensemble-300.jpgExpanding Your Horizons Brown Bag Concert: Members of the award-winning group Alash (right) are masters of Tuvan throat-singing, a centuries-old Central Asian musical tradition in which individual vocalists sing multiple pitches at the same time. The group presents its blend of traditional sounds of Tuva and western musical influences at noon March 31 in the Bob Hope Theatre lobby, Owen Arts Center. For more information, call the Division of Music, 214-768-1951.

Allez cuisine!: Mentors from SMU Dining Services and student culinary teams from the Art Institute, Collin College and El Centro College will vie to determine whose cuisine reigns supreme in the first SMU Iron Chef Competition. Teams will create menus, work on a food and decorating budget, and – of course – create at least one dish using a “mystery ingredient” to be revealed during the contest. Awards will be voted on by students as well as a panel of judges. The 2010 event takes place 5-8 p.m. March 31 at Real Food on Campus (RFoC), Umphrey Lee Center. The competition is open to the public – SMU faculty, staff and students with a meal plan can use a meal swipe or pay $9.25 plus tax at the door. For more information, please call 214-768-1494.

well-tempered-clavier-cover-150.jpgThe Well-Tempered Clavier Project: Internationally acclaimed pianist and Meadows faculty member Alessio Bax presents a two-day festival devoted entirely to one of Western classical music’s most influential works: J.S. Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier. April 1 is devoted to the complete Book I, and April 5 includes the complete Book II. Both concerts will feature performances by faculty members and graduate students from SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts. The performances begin at 7 p.m. on both nights in Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center. Sponsored by a gift from Jeanne Roach Johnson. Admission is free. For more information, contact the Division of Music, 214-768-1951.

M.F.A. Qualifying Exhibition: Meadows School of the Arts presents its annual spring exhibition featuring works by Division of Art M.F.A. graduates, featuring a wide range of styles and media. The 2010 show runs April 5-17 in the Pollock Gallery, Hughes-Trigg Student Center. Admission is free. For more information, call the Division of Art at 214-768-4439.

Calendar Highlights: March 23, 2010

Alessio BaxAvery Fisher Concert: SMU’s Avery Fisher Career Grant recipients Andrés Díaz (cello) and Alessio Bax (right, piano), with pianist Lucille Chung, will present a free concert of Schubert’s Fantasia in F Minor, Kodaly’s Sonata and Rachmaninoff’s Sonata for Cello and Piano at 8 p.m. March 25 in Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center. For more information, call 214-768-1951.

When faiths converge: Professor of Religious Studies Yaakov Ariel of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill will present SMU’s 8th annual Nate and Ann Levine Endowed Lecture in Jewish Studies 7:30-9 p.m. March 25 in McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall. “Christian Jews? The New Communities of Jewish Believers in Jesus” explores the roots, history and theology of groups formed during the 1970s, believing that they could overcome traditional divisions and amalgamate the Christian faith with Jewish ethnicity and culture. Presented by SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. For more information, call 214-768-4478.

Song and dance: SMU’s Indian Students Association presents its annual talent show, Mustang Masti, at 6:30 p.m. March 27 in McFarlin Auditorium. Pre-sale tickets are $8 with SMU ID; admission is $10 at the door with SMU ID. Buy tickets online at or contact the ISA for more information.

Heat stress and health: Dr. Craig Crandall, professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at UT-Southwestern Medical Center and research scientist in Presbyterian Hospital’s Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine, will discuss his findings on how the human cardiovascular system responds to heat stress in “Cardiovascular Responses to Severe Heat Stress in Humans.” The lecture begins at 7 p.m. March 31 in Classrooms 1 and 2, Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports. Presented by the Applied Physiology and Sport Management Lecture Series in the Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness of SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. For more information, call 214-768-2205.

Achúcarro performs during Europe Week in D.C.

Joaquin Achucarro with Ambassador of Spain to the U.S. Jorge DezcallarJoaquín Achúcarro, Joel Estes Tate Professor of Piano in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, took part in the Spanish Embassy‘s celebration of 2009 Europe Week with a performance May 17 at The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. Among the attendees was His Excellency Jorge Dezcallar, Spain’s ambassador to the United States. Achúcarro is a native of Bilbao.

Europe Week, sponsored by the Delegation of the European Commission to the USA and the Embassies of the Member States of the European Union, features events “designed to create a better understanding of the European Union” and “celebrating … the EU’s transatlantic relationship with the U.S.,” according to the EU’s Europe Week website.

The performance was one of the inaugural events announcing the Joaquín Achúcarro Foundation. Dallasite Janet Kafka, an honorary consul of Spain, conceived the idea to observe the 50th anniversary of Achúcarro’s debut by establishing a foundation in his honor. She developed it with two international artists who are also Achúcarro protégés: SMU faculty member Alessio Bax (’96, ’98) and his wife, Lucille Chung. The two are now the foundation’s artistic co-directors.

Emma and Joaquin Achucarro with Alessio Bax and Lucille ChungThe Joaquín Achúcarro Foundation will help provide young pianists with performance opportunities and grants for continuing study and travel, as well as help underwrite master classes for up-and-coming students. To date, the foundation has sponsored three master class series at Dallas’ Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.

In addition, Achúcarro is the subject of a forthcoming DVD on the Opus Arte label that will include a new performance of Brahms’ Second Piano Concerto with conductor Sir Colin Davis and the London Symphony Orchestra. Achúcarro made his professional debut with the orchestra as the winner of the 1959 Liverpool Competition.

Top right: Joaquín Achúcarro and Ambassador of Spain to the United States Jorge Dezcallar. Lower right: Alessio Bax, Emma and Joaquín Achúcarro and Lucille Chung. Photos © Greg Schaler.

Alessio Bax wins 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant

alessio-bax-2009-300.jpgPianist Alessio Bax (’96, ’98), a faculty member in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, has been awarded a 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant, as announced last week by the Avery Fisher Artist Program in New York City.

The program, administered by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, is one of the most prestigious in the music world. The $25,000 Career Grants give professional assistance and recognition to talented instrumentalists who are considered to have great potential for solo careers. Artists do not apply, and the nomination process is secret. Past winners include such artists as Joshua Bell, Hilary Hahn, Pamela Frank, and SMU faculty members Chee-Yun and Andrés Díaz.

Additionally, Bax recently was selected for a 3-year residency at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, to begin in fall 2009. As a member of the CMS Two program for outstanding musicians, he will be featured in various performances at Lincoln Center and on various CMS tours and projects. In March 2009, he made his Lincoln Center debut with a sold-out concert in which he worked with and performed music by Grawemeyer Award-winning composer Sebastian Currier.

In 1997, at age 19, Bax took first prize at the Hamamatsu International Piano Competition in Japan. In 2000, he won the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition, considered the Olympics of international piano competition. His performances have been described as “real music-making that makes its own world on stage and invites the audience in as guests” (The Independent), and “successfully combining authority and poetry” (Daily Telegraph). He has appeared with major orchestras from Dallas and London to Rome and Tokyo and has worked with conductors including Marin Alsop, Vernon Handley and Owain Arwel Hughes.

Bax’s 2004 debut CD, Baroque Reflections (Warner Classic), was selected as “Editor’s Choice” by Gramophone magazine and “Best Buy” by Classical FM magazine. His second CD, Bach Transcribed (Signum Records), will be released in summer 2009.

A student of Joel Estes Tate Professor of Piano Joaquín Achúcarro, Bax received his Artist Certificate and his Master’s degree in music from SMU.

(Photo by Lisa-Marie Mazzucco, courtesy of Herbert Barrett Management.)

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