Pianist 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.)