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.