Friday Jul 26, 2019 8:00 pm
VPAC Winter Classical Series
“Joshua Bell is the greatest American violinist active today.” – The Boston Herald
“Mr. Bell doesn’t stand in anyone’s shadow.” – The New York Times
“Most perfect interpreter of this generation.” – Houston Chronicle
Program to be announced.
JOSHUA BELL: With a career spanning more than 30 years as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist and conductor, Joshua Bell is one of the most celebrated violinists of his era. An exclusive Sony Classical artist, Bell has recorded more than 40 CDs garnering Grammy, Mercury, Gramophone and Echo Klassik awards and is the recipient of the Avery Fisher Prize. Named the Music Director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields in 2011, he is the only person to hold this post since Sir Neville Marriner formed the orchestra in 1958.
In Summer 2017, Bell leads the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields in residency appearances at the Edinburgh Festival and the Bravo! Vail Festival. He performs as soloist at the BBC Proms in London with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Charles Dutoit, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, Tanglewood and the Hollywood Bowl. In the Fall, he joins the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and partakes in the New York Philharmonic’s celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s centennial, performing Bernstein’s Serenade led by Alan Gilbert. A nine-city North American recital tour with pianist Alessio Bax includes Chicago’s Symphony Center and Washington D.C.’s Strathmore Center. He makes appearances with the Vienna Symphony and the Monte Carlo Philharmonic and performs multiple concerts at London’s Wigmore Hall with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. In Spring 2018, Bell continues with the Academy in tours covering the United Kingdom, United States and Asia, with highlights in London, New York, San Francisco, Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing and Shanghai. With pianist Sam Haywood, he performs 10 recitals in Europe and America that take them to the Philharmonie de Paris, Zurich Tonhalle and beyond. On February 7, 2018, Bell reunites with longtime collaborator pianist Jeremy Denk for a recital broadcast live from Carnegie Hall. Further season highlights include the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Cristian Măcelaru, Danish National Symphony with Măcelaru, and an all-Beethoven play/direct program with the Orchestre National de Lyon.
Convinced of the value of music as a diplomatic and educational tool, Bell participated in President Obama’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities’ first cultural mission to Cuba. He is also involved in Turnaround Arts, another project implemented by the Committee and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. which provides arts education to low-performing elementary and middle schools. Bell has performed for three U.S. Presidents as well as the President of China and devoted himself to several charitable causes, most notably Education Through Music, which put instruments in the hands of thousands of children in America’s inner cities.
Planned for August 2018 release is a 14 CD set of Bell’s Sony recording highlights. In September 2016, Sony Classical released Bell’s newest album, For the Love of Brahms with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, cellist Steven Isserlis and pianist Jeremy Denk. Bell’s 2014 Sony release was a Bach album recorded with the Academy that coincided with an HBO YoungArts documentary special, Joshua Bell: A YoungArtsMasterClass.His 2013 release with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, featured him conducting Beethoven’s Fourth and Seventh symphonies and debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts.
In 2013, Sony released Bell’s holiday CD, Musical Gifts from Joshua Bell and Friends, featuring collaborations with Chris Botti, Chick Corea, Gloria Estefan, Renée Fleming, Plácido Domingo, Alison Krauss and others. Other releases include French Impressions with pianist Jeremy Denk, featuring sonatas by Saint-Saëns, Ravel and Franck, At Home with Friends, Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, The Tchaikovsky Concerto with the Berlin Philharmonic, as well as The Red Violin Concerto, The Essential Joshua Bell, Voice of the Violin, and Romance of the Violin whichBillboard named the 2004 Classical CD of the Year, and Bell the Classical Artist of the Year.
ALESSIO BAX: Combining exceptional lyricism and insight with consummate technique, Alessio Bax is without a doubt “among the most remarkable young pianists now before the public” (Gramophone). He catapulted to prominence with First Prize wins at both the Leeds and Hamamatsu International Piano Competitions, and is now a familiar face on five continents, not only as a recitalist and chamber musician, but also as a concerto soloist who has appeared with more than 100 orchestras, including the London, Royal, and St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestras, the Boston, Dallas, Sydney, and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestras, 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.
Bax explores many facets of his career in the 2019-20 season. Fall brings the release of Italian Inspirations, his eleventh recording for Signum Classics. Pairing works by Luigi Dallapiccola and Alessandro Marcello with Italian-themed pieces by Rachmaninov and Liszt, the album’s program is also the vehicle for Bax’s solo recital debut at New York’s 92nd Street Y. A further debut follows with the Milwaukee Symphony, where he plays Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto under Han-Na Chang, and the same composer’s Fourth Concerto and Choral Fantasy take him to the Santa Barbara Symphony. Placing especial focus on long-term collaborative projects, this season Bax undertakes Beethoven’s complete works for cello and piano at Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS) and on a forthcoming Signum Classics release, both with Paul Watkins of the Emerson String Quartet; plays trios in Santiago and Rio de Janeiro with Berlin Philharmonic concertmaster Daishin Kashimoto and French horn virtuoso Radovan Vlatkovic; and embarks on multiple U.S. and European recital tours with superstar violinist Joshua Bell. After headlining the North Carolina Symphony’s season-opening concerts together, Bax and his regular piano partner, Lucille Chung, give duo recitals with CMS, at Atlanta’s Spivey Hall, in the Yale Piano Series, and at Sala São Paulo in Brazil. Bax rounds out the season with a full summer of festivals, highlighted by his third season as Artistic Director of Tuscany’s Incontri in Terra di Siena festival, which is fast becoming a major international destination for music-lovers.
Bax is a staple on the international summer festival circuit, and has performed at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland; the Aldeburgh Festival, Bath Festival, and Southbank Centre’s International Piano Series in England; the Risør Festival in Norway; the Salon-de-Provence Festival in France; the Moritzburg Festival, Ruhr Klavier-Festival, and Beethovenfest Bonn in Germany; and Le Pont International Music Festival in Japan. In the U.S., he makes regular appearances at Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Music@Menlo, the Bravo! Vail Music Festival, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival and New York’s Bard Music Festival. As a chamber musician, Bax has collaborated with Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Ian Bostridge, Lucille Chung, Sol Gabetta, Steven Isserlis, Daishin Kashimoto, Emmanuel Pahud, Lawrence Power, Paul Watkins, Jörg Widmann, and the Emerson String Quartet, among many others.
Alessio Bax graduated with top honors at the record age of 14 from the conservatory of Bari, his hometown in Italy, where his teacher was Angela Montemurro. He studied in France with Francois-Joël Thiollier and attended the Chigiana Academy in Siena under Joaquín Achúcarro. In 1994 he moved to Dallas to continue his studies with Achúcarro at Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts. In fall 2019, Bax joins the piano faculty of Boston’s New England Conservatory. A Steinway artist, he lives in New York City with Lucille Chung and their five-year-old daughter, Mila. Beyond the concert hall he is known for his longtime obsession with fine food; as a 2013 New York Times profile noted, he is not only notorious for hosting “epic” multi-course dinner parties, but often spends his intermissions dreaming of meals to come.
Tickets: Adult Starting at $98 | Student $20
*Ticket prices subject to change