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Clarinetist Sebastian Manz has been praised for his “enchantingly beautiful intonation and technical prowess” by Fono Forum. He has performed as a soloist with major European orchestras such as the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra, the Munich Chamber Orchestra, and the National Youth Orchestra of Germany. On the chamber music stage, he has given performances at Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Beethovenhaus Bonn, and has appeared at festivals including the prestigious Festspiele Mecklenburg Vorpommern and the MDR Musiksommer in Germany, collaborating with artists like Sebastian Studnitzky, Sarah Christian, Julian Steckel, Danae Dörken, the Danish String Quartet, and the Armida Quartett. At the ARD International Music Competition in 2008, he won not only first prize in the clarinet category, which had not been awarded for 40 years, but also the coveted Audience Prize and other special prizes. He is Principal Clarinet of the SWR Symphony Orchestra in Stuttgart. He is also active in the “Rhapsody in School” organization founded by Lars Vogt, which is committed to bringing classical music into schools. His recording A Bernstein Story was awarded with the Opus Klassik award in 2020. He recently released his recording of clarinet concertos by Carl Nielsen and Magnus Lindberg, as well as a recital recording of works by Brahms and Schumann with pianist Herbert Schuch. Manz was born in Hanover, and his teachers include the acclaimed clarinetists Sabine Meyer and Reiner Wehle. He is an alum of CMS's Bowers Program.
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.
Recorded live in Alice Tully Hall on March 3, 2019.
Video produced by Ibis Productions.