July 12, 2012
by Gregory Sullivan Isaacs
Fort Worth — Young Italian pianist Alessio Bax was last in town in May when he performed Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra. That's when I caught up with hin to chat about his appearances with the Mimir Chamber Music Festival this week at Texas Christian University.
On Sunday afternoon, he will play George Enescu's rarely heard Sonata for Violin and Piano in A minor, Op. 25 with violinist Nathan Cole and, with the addition of cellist Brant Taylor, Tchaikovsky's Piano Trio in A minor, Op. 50 subtitled "In Memory of a Great Artist."
"That great artist was Nicholas Rubinstein, who was Tchaikovsky's teacher, friend, and mentor," says Bax. "He was also one of the greatest pianists of his generation."
Bax has a long association with both the Mimir Festival and Dallas. He first arrived here as a student at SMU by a relatively circuitous route. At the remarkably young age of 14, he graduated from the conservatory in his hometown in Bari, Italy. He then moved to France to study with François-Joël Thiollier, and attended the Chigiana Academy in Siena to study with Joaquín Achúcarro, who is also on the faculty of Southern Methodist University. Bax moved to Dallas in 1994 to continue his studies with Achúcarro. "I just never left," he says with a laugh.
Currently, he is an adjunct Assistant Professor of Piano at SMU. "I don't have private students, but I work on a lot of projects," he says. ...