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Alessio Bax catapulted to prominence with First Prize wins at both the Leeds and Hamamatsu International Piano Competitions. He has appeared with more than 150 orchestras, including the London, Royal, and St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestras, the Boston, Dallas, and Sydney Symphonies, and the NHK Symphony in Japan, collaborating with such eminent conductors as Marin Alsop, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Simon Rattle, Yuri Temirkanov, and Jaap van Zweden. He released his 11th Signum Classics album, Italian Inspirations, whose program was also the vehicle for his solo recital debut at New York’s 92nd Street Y as well as on tour. He and his regular piano duo partner, Lucille Chung, have given recitals at Lincoln Center and were featured with the St. Louis Symphony and Stéphane Denève. This season he makes his debut with the Milwaukee Symphony, and will return for the fourth time for two recitals at the historic Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. Last summer he made return appearances at the Seattle Chamber Music Festival and at the Bravo! Vail Music Festival with the Dallas Symphony and Fabio Luisi conducting. At age 14, Bax graduated with top honors from the conservatory of Bari, his hometown in Italy, and after further studies in Europe, he moved to the United States in 1994. A Steinway artist, he lives in New York City with pianist Lucille Chung and their daughter, Mila. He is a former member of CMS’s Bowers Program and on the faculty at the New England Conservatory.
Acclaimed for her passionate, powerful performances, beautiful sound, and compelling command of her instrument, violinist Bella Hristova has performed extensively as a soloist with orchestras including the Charlotte, Milwaukee, and Kansas City symphonies as well as orchestras in Asia, Europe, Latin America, and New Zealand. Highlights of the 2023–24 season include performances of Wynton Marsalis’s Violin Concerto with the Charleston Symphony and Eugene Philharmonic, Prokofiev’s Second Concerto with the New York Youth Symphony at Carnegie Hall, and the Barber Concerto with the Orlando Philharmonic. Hristova was the featured soloist for a concerto commissioned by a consortium of eight major orchestras and written for her by her husband, acclaimed composer David Serkin Ludwig, which she continues to perform. A sought-after chamber musician at festivals, she has performed at Australia’s Musica Viva, Music@Menlo, Chamber Music Northwest, and Marlboro Music. Following multiple tours of New Zealand with renowned pianist Michael Houstoun, she and Houstoun recorded the complete Beethoven Sonatas for Piano and Violin, and more recently the Brahms Sonatas, both released on Rattle. She received a 2013 Avery Fisher Career Grant and first prizes in the Michael Hill International Violin Competition and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, and is a Laureate of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. Hristova attended the Curtis Institute of Music, where she worked with Ida Kavafian, and received her artist diploma with Jaime Laredo at Indiana University. She is an alum of CMS’s Bowers Program and plays a 1655 Nicolò Amati violin.
Winner of a 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Arnaud Sussmann has distinguished himself with his unique sound, bravura, and profound musicianship. Minnesota’s Pioneer Press writes, “Sussmann has an old-school sound reminiscent of what you'll hear on vintage recordings by Jascha Heifetz or Fritz Kreisler, a rare combination of sweet and smooth that can hypnotize a listener.” A thrilling musician capturing the attention of classical critics and audiences around the world, he has recently appeared as a soloist with the Vancouver Symphony and the New World Symphony. As a chamber musician, he has performed at the Tel Aviv Museum in Israel, London’s Wigmore Hall, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, the Dresden Music Festival in Germany, and the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC. He has been presented in recital in Omaha on the Tuesday Musical Club series, in New Orleans by the Friends of Music, and at the Louvre Museum in Paris. He has also given concerts at the OK Mozart, Moritzburg, Caramoor, Music@Menlo, La Jolla SummerFest, Mainly Mozart, Seattle Chamber Music, Chamber Music Northwest, and Moab Music festivals. He has performed with many of today’s leading artists including Itzhak Perlman, Menahem Pressler, Gary Hoffman, Shmuel Ashkenasi, Wu Han, David Finckel, and Jan Vogler. An alum of CMS’s Bowers Program, Sussmann is Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Society of Palm Beach and Co-Director of Music@Menlo’s International Program, and teaches at Stony Brook University. In September 2022, Sussmann was named Founding Artistic Director of the Boscobel Chamber Music Festival.
Violist Paul Neubauer has been called a “master musician” by the New York Times. He recently made his Chicago Symphony subscription debut with conductor Riccardo Muti. He also gave the US premiere of the newly discovered Impromptu for viola and piano by Shostakovich with pianist Wu Han. In addition, his recording of the Aaron Kernis Viola Concerto with the Royal Northern Sinfonia was released on Signum Records, and his recording of the complete viola/piano music by Ernest Bloch with pianist Margo Garrett was released on Delos. Appointed principal violist of the New York Philharmonic at age 21, he has appeared as soloist with over 100 orchestras including the New York, Los Angeles, and Helsinki philharmonics; National, St. Louis, Detroit, Dallas, San Francisco, and Bournemouth symphonies; and Santa Cecilia, English Chamber, and Beethovenhalle orchestras. He has premiered viola concertos by Bartók (revised version of the Viola Concerto), Friedman, Glière, Jacob, Kernis, Lazarof, Müller-Siemens, Ott, Penderecki, Picker, Suter, and Tower, and has been featured on CBS's Sunday Morning and A Prairie Home Companion as well as in Strad, Strings, and People magazines. A two-time Grammy nominee, he has recorded on numerous labels including Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, RCA Red Seal, and Sony Classical, and is a member of SPA, a trio with soprano Susanna Phillips and pianist Anne-Marie McDermott. Neubauer is the artistic director of the Mostly Music series in New Jersey and is on the faculty of the Juilliard School and Mannes College.
Educator, entrepreneur, and youth advocate Joseph Conyers—Principal Double Bass of The Philadelphia Orchestra—has spent the whole of his career as a multi-faceted 21st-century artist whose innovative work in music education and access has been recognized internationally. Awards for his celebrated initiatives include the Sphinx Organization’s Medal of Excellence (2019), the organization’s most prestigious recognition; the Theodore L. Kesselman Award from the New York Youth Symphony (2019); the C. Hartman Kuhn award (2018), the highest honor bestowed upon a musician of the Philadelphia Orchestra; and Musical America’s 30 Top Professionals: Innovators, Independent Thinkers, and Entrepreneurs (2018). In 2015, he was the inaugural recipient of the 2015 Young Alumni Award from his alma mater, the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Hal Robinson and Edgar Meyer. During the summer of 2021, he was profiled on PBS in an Articulate feature that highlights his work as Founder and Vision Advisor of Project 440, an organization that helps young people use their interest in music to forge new pathways for themselves and ignite change in their communities. He is the Music Director of Philadelphia’s All-City Orchestra, which showcases the top high school musicians of the School District of Philadelphia. He was named the Director of the Young Artists Orchestra for the prestigious Boston University Tanglewood Institute in 2020. A frequent guest clinician and speaker presenting from coast to coast, Conyers serves on the double bass faculty of The Juilliard School.
Recorded live in Alice Tully Hall on October 15, 2014.
Video produced by Ibis Productions.