Dazzling Italian pianist Alessio Bax will join the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra for a season-ending performance of Robert Schumann’s intensely expressive Piano Concerto in A Minor at the Lobero Theatre on Tuesday, May 16. Also featuring Schumann’s remarkably triumphant Symphony No. 2, the concert will begin at 7:30 pm, following the orchestra’s final “Supper Club” dinner of the season. Ticket sales are underway.
Hailed for his lyrical playing, insightful interpretations, and extraordinary technique, Mr. Bax has appeared as a soloist with more than 100 orchestras, including the London and Royal philharmonic orchestras, the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Japan, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic with Yuri Temirkanov, and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with Sir Simon Rattle. He recently embarked on tours of South America and Asia, and returned to the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for engagements in New York and on tour, among other highlights. A 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, Mr. Bax has performed with violinist Joshua Bell on four continents. In 2013, he received the Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award and Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award, which recognizes young artists of exceptional accomplishment. Mr. Bax’s critically acclaimed discography includes recordings of works by Beethoven, Brahms, and Rachmaninov. According to Gramophone magazine, “His playing quivers with an almost hypnotic intensity.” A local favorite, Mr. Bax has headlined a succession of memorable concerts with the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra in recent years, including a spellbinding performance of Beethoven’s monumental “Emperor” Piano Concerto No. 5 to conclude last season.
The Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra is led by the peerless Heiichiro Ohyama, now in his 34th year as the ensemble’s music director and conductor. Over the course of his distinguished career Maestro Ohyama also has served as principal violist and assistant conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic; principal chief conductor of the Kyushu Symphony Orchestra in Fukuoka, Japan, and the Osaka Symphony Orchestra; artistic director of La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival; and music director of the Nagasaki Music Festival. Also a professor of music at the University of California from 1973 to 2003, he received the 1991 Gruber Award for Excellence in Chamber Music Teaching in Los Angeles.
The concert on May 16 will be preceded by the Chamber Orchestra’s final “Supper Club” dinner of the 2016-17 season. Featuring Refugio Ranch wines and deliciously unique Italian cuisine by Chef Renato Moiso of Santa Barbara’s celebrated Via Maestra 42 restaurant, the event will take place at 6 pm in the Lobero courtyard, preceded by wine service at 5:30 pm. Dinner tickets cost $50 and seating is limited. Call 805-966-2441 for more information.
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