Sir Andrew Davis has served as music director and principal conductor of Lyric Opera of Chicago since 2000. Davis's contract with Lyric Opera was recently extended through the 2020-2021 season. Maestro Davis was recently named chief conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra beginning in January 2013, and he is conductor laureate of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (having previously served as principal conductor), conductor laureate of the BBC Symphony Orchestra (having previously had the longest tenure as chief conductor since BBCSO founder Sir Adrian Boult) and former music director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera.
In the 2012-2013 Lyric Opera season he conducts Strauss's Elektra, Verdi's Simon Boccanegra, Massenet's Werther, and Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. His engagements elsewhere in 2012-2013 include Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Liceu in Barcelona (Rusalka), BBC Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Bergen Philharmonic, Orchestre de l'opera de la Bastille, and Glyndebourne Festival Opera (Billy Budd) . Additionally, Sir Andrew will spend several weeks recording for Chandos Records.
In the 2011-2012 season Sir Andrew conducted Boris Godunov, Ariadne auf Naxos, and The Magic Flute at Lyric Opera of Chicago, as well as a subscriber appreciation concert featuring soprano Renée Fleming (Lyric's creative consultant) and baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky. 2011-2012 also saw Maestro Davis on the podium with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra in London and the symphonies of Rotterdam, Bergen and Bamberg, as well as the Metropolitan Opera (Don Giovanni) and the Canadian Opera Company (A Florentine Tragedy/Gianni Schicci). He finished out the season last summer with performances of Arabella at the Santa Fe Opera and performances of Delius's A Mass of Life for the opening of the Edinburgh International Festival.
With the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Maestro Davis has led concerts at the Proms and on tour to Hong Kong, Japan, the U.S., and Europe. He has conducted all of the world's major orchestras, from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to the Berlin Philharmonic and the Royal Concertgebouw, as well as at opera houses and festivals throughout the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, and the Bayreuth Festival.
Maestro Davis has a massive discography on the Chandos, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Warner Classics International, Capriccio, EMI, and CBS labels, among others. Sir Andrew currently records exclusively for Chandos Records.
Sir Andrew's recording of Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2 of York Bowen was nominated for a Grammy in 2011 for Best Orchestral Performance. In 2008, Sir Andrew released Elgar's Violin Concertos, featuring violinist James Ehnes and London's Philharmonia Orchestra (Onyx Classics), which won Gramophone's coveted "Best of Category – Concerto" Award. Recordings in 2007 included Beethoven's Violin Concerto with violinist Min-Jyn Kim and the Philharmonia Orchestra (Sony); a solo recital of operatic favorites sung by soprano Nicole Cabell with the London Philharmonic Orchestra (Decca), which in 2008 won the Solti Prize from the French Académie du Disque Lyrique; and Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1 and Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1 with pianist Yundi Li and the Philharmonia Orchestra (Deutsche Grammophon).
In 1992, Maestro Davis was created a Commander of the British Empire for his services to British music, and in 1999 he was made a Knight Bachelor in the New Year Honours List. In 1991, he received the Royal Philharmonic Society/Charles Heidsieck Music Award. In June of 2012, he received an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois.
Born in 1944 in Hertfordshire, England, Maestro Davis studied at King's College, Cambridge, where he was an organ scholar before taking up the baton. His diverse repertoire ranges from Baroque to contemporary, and his vast conducting credits span the symphonic and operatic and choral worlds. Sir Andrew is a great proponent of twentieth century works including those by Janácek, Messiaen, Boulez, Elgar, Tippett, and Britten, in addition to the core symphonic and operatic composers' works.
Maestro Davis and his wife, soprano Gianna Rolandi, reside in Chicago where she is the director of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago. View biography in full page >
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 four continents, not only as a recitalist and chamber musician, but as a concerto soloist who has appeared with more than 100 orchestras, including the London and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras, Dallas and Cincinnati Symphonies, NHK Symphony in Japan, St. Petersburg Philharmonic with Yuri Temirkanov, and the City of Birmingham Symphony with Sir Simon Rattle.
After inaugurating a new three-year appointment as Artistic Director of Tuscany's Incontri in Terra di Siena festival in summer 2017, Bax launches Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's 2017-18 season in company with his wife and fellow pianist, Lucille Chung. Further highlights of his full season include a pair of high-profile U.S. duo recital tours with violinist Joshua Bell and flutist Emmanuel Pahud, respectively; UK solo recitals at London's Wigmore Hall and the Leeds Piano Festival; collaborations with U.S. orchestras from the Minnesota Orchestra to the North Carolina Philharmonic, on concertos by Gershwin, Grieg, Rachmaninov, Saint-Saëns, and Schumann; return engagements in Yerevan with the Armenian Philharmonic and in Hong Kong; and Signum Classics' release of his recording of Beethoven's "Emperor" concerto with the Southbank Sinfonia, paired with rarely heard solo works by the master composer.
The 2016-17 season saw Bax return to the Vancouver Symphony for MacDowell's Second Piano Concerto with Bramwell Tovey, and step in at the eleventh hour to play Brahms's Second Piano Concerto with the Cincinnati Symphony under Sir Andrew Davis, in what proved "the most exciting debut in recent memory" (Cincinnati Enquirer). He also gave three performances at the Wigmore Hall, including his solo recital debut, which aired live on BBC Radio 3, and a duo recital with his regular collaborator, Berlin Philharmonic concertmaster Dashin Kashimoto, by way of a coda to their extensive Asian tour. Other highlights of recent seasons include Mozart with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra under Hans Graf; Rachmaninov with London's Southbank Sinfonia led by Vladimir Ashkenazy; his Minnesota Orchestra debut under Andrew Litton; a return to the Dallas Symphony for Barber under Jaap van Zweden; season-opening appearances with the Colorado Symphony; and concerts at L.A.'s Disney Hall, Washington's Kennedy Center, and New York's Carnegie Hall. In 2009, the pianist was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant, and four years later he received both the Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award and Lincoln Center's Martin E. Segal Award, which recognizes young artists of exceptional accomplishment.
Bax is a staple on the international summer festival circuit, and has performed at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland; England's International Piano Series and Aldeburgh and Bath festivals; the Risør Festival in Norway; and the Moritzburg Festival, Ruhr Klavier-Festival, and Beethovenfest Bonn in Germany. In the U.S., he makes regular appearances at New York's Bard Music Festival, the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, the Bravo! Vail festival, Mimir Chamber Music Festival, Minnesota's Beethoven Festival, Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Music@Menlo, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, and Kentucky's Chamber Music Festival of Lexington. He has given recitals at New York's Lincoln Center and other major music halls around the world, including those of Rome, Milan, Bilbao, Madrid, Paris, London, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, and Washington, DC. As a chamber musician, Bax has collaborated with Emanuel Ax, Sol Gabetta, Steven Isserlis, Nicholas Phan, Paul Watkins, Jörg Widmann, and the Emerson String Quartet, among many others.
Bax's celebrated discography for Signum Classics includes Beethoven's "Hammerklavier" and "Moonlight" Sonatas (a Gramophone "Editor's Choice"); Bax & Chung, a duo disc with Lucille Chung that includes Stravinsky's original four-hand version of the ballet Pétrouchka as well as music by Brahms and Piazzolla; Alessio Bax plays Mozart, comprising Piano Concertos K. 491 and K. 595 with London's Southbank Sinfonia and Simon Over; Alessio Bax: Scriabin & Mussorgsky (named "Recording of the Month … and quite possibly my recording of the year" by MusicWeb International); Alessio Bax plays Brahms (a Gramophone "Critics' Choice"); Bach Transcribed; and Rachmaninov: Preludes & Melodies (an American Record Guide "Critics' Choice 2011"). Recorded for Warner Classics, his Baroque Reflections album was also a Gramophone "Editor's Choice."He performed Beethoven's "Hammerklavier" Sonata for maestro Daniel Barenboim in the PBS-TV documentary Barenboim on Beethoven: Masterclass, available as a DVD boxed set on the EMI label.
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 SMU's Meadows School of the Arts, where, with Lucille Chung, he is now the Johnson-Prothro Artist-in-Residence. He also serves with Chung as co-artistic director of Dallas' Joaquín Achúcarro Foundation, created to cultivate the legacy of the Basque pianist and to support young pianists' careers. A Steinway artist, Bax resides in New York City with Chung and their three-year-old daughter, Mila. Outside 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.
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