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Alessio Bax and Lucille Chung Named Johnson-Prothro Artists-in-Residence at SMU Meadows School of the Arts

Award-winning concert pianists will teach select students, give Meadows concerts and continue international performing careers

Award-winning international concert pianists and recording artists Alessio Bax and Lucille Chung have been named Johnson-Prothro Artists-in-Residence at SMU Meadows School of the Arts for three years, beginning in fall 2015. As part of their new positions, they will teach a small number of top-level piano students each semester and will also be in residence for certain periods to offer lessons to any Meadows piano students studying solo and chamber repertoire. They will also give public performances and organize an annual music festival at Meadows, all while maintaining their international performing schedules.

Bax and Chung, who are husband and wife, have been serving as adjunct assistant professor and adjunct lecturer respectively for a number of years at SMU. Bax has taught at Meadows since earning his master’s in piano performance at the school in 1998, officially becoming an adjunct in 2001, and Chung joined the faculty in 2009. Both also earned Artist Certificates at Meadows as students of renowned piano professor Joaquín Achúcarro, Bax in 1996 and Chung in 2003.

The new artist-in-residence positions are funded by gifts from Dale and Joe Prothro, Sr., of Wichita Falls, Texas, The Perkins-Prothro Foundation and Jeanne R. Johnson.

“We are delighted that Alessio and Lucille, two world-renowned musicians long affiliated with Meadows, will be able to teach here on a more permanent basis,” said Sam Holland, dean of the Meadows School. “We are extremely grateful to the donors who have made it possible for them to become official artists-in-residence.”

The First Prize winner at the Leeds and Hamamatsu international piano competitions, and a 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, Bax has appeared as soloist with over 100 orchestras, including the London and Royal Philharmonic orchestras, the Dallas and Houston symphonies, the NHK Symphony in Japan, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic under Yuri Temirkanov, and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with Sir Simon Rattle. 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. Recent highlights include return engagements with the Dallas Symphony under Jaap van Zweden and the Royal Philharmonic on tour, performances with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra under Hans Graf and London’s Southbank Sinfonia led by Vladimir Ashkenazy, tours with Joshua Bell, and concerts with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in both New York and Boston. Among festival appearances are London’s International Piano Series (Queen Elizabeth Hall), England’s Aldeburgh and Bath festivals, Switzerland’s Verbier, Germany’s Ruhr Klavier-Festival and BeethovenFest, and the U.S.’s Bravo! Vail, Music@Menlo and Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. His acclaimed discography includes Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” and “Moonlight” Sonatas (Gramophone “Editor’s Choice”); Bax & Chung, featuring Stravinsky’s four-hand Pétrouchka; Mozart’s Piano Concertos K. 491 and K. 595; Alessio Bax Plays Brahms (Gramophone “Critic’s Choice”); Rachmaninov: Preludes and Melodies (American Record Guide “Critics’ Choice”); Bach Transcribed; and Baroque Reflections (Gramophone “Editor’s Choice”).

Since her debut at age 10 with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Chung has performed with leading orchestras around the world including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Moscow Virtuosi and BBC NOW with Charles Dutoit, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Vladimir Spivakov. She has given solo recitals at the finest concert halls in over 35 countries, including New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, Washington’s Kennedy Center, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Wigmore Hall in London, and Madrid’s Auditorio Nacional. She has received excellent reviews worldwide for her discs of the complete works of Ligeti as well as Scriabin piano works on the Dynamic label, garnering 5 Stars from the BBC Music Magazine and Fono Forum in Germany, as well as R10 from Répertoire Classica in France. She also recorded “Saint-Saëns Piano Transcriptions” and “Mozart & Me” on the XXI/Universal label and recently released a piano duo album with Alessio Bax for Signum Records.

This summer, Bax is playing 14 festivals on three continents, and Chung will join him for several of the concerts in Italy, Germany and Washington, D.C. Bax’s travels will include North Texas, where he will perform at the Mimir Chamber Music Festival in Fort Worth on July 2 and 3. He also will perform with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and conductor Jaap van Zweden at the Bravo! Vail Music Festival in Colorado on July 6.

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