By Maria Gregoriou
There is certainly lots of music in the air at the moment with the 15th International Pharos Chamber Music Festival currently underway and a series of Cyprus Symphony Orchestra concerts.
For those who love the piano, pianist Alessio Bax will give a performance on Friday at the Shoe Factory in Nicosia. Bax was presented to the Cypriot audience by the Pharos Foundation during a performance with his wife Lucille Chung – who is also a pianist – in December.
Bax creates “a ravishing listening experience” (Gramophone) with his lyrical playing, insightful interpretations, and dazzling facility. First Prize winner at the Leeds and Hamamatsu international piano competitions – and a 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient – he has appeared as soloist with over 100 orchestras, including the London and Royal Philharmonic orchestras, the NHK Symphony in Japan, and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with Sir Simon Rattle.
Recent appearances include concertos by Rachmaninov and Mozart with the St Petersburg Philharmonic under Yuri Temirkanov, Barber with the Dallas Symphony under Jaap van Zweden, Mozart with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra under Hans Graf, and debuts at Washington’s Kennedy Center, New York’s Carnegie Hall, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires; numerous solo recitals as well as piano four-hands recitals with Chung and violin and piano recitals with Joshua Bell.
Bax’s acclaimed discography includes Bax & Chung (Stravinsky, Brahms, Piazzolla), Alessio Bax plays Mozart (Piano Concertos K. 491 and K. 595), Alessio Bax plays Brahms (Gramophone “Critic’s Choice”), Rachmaninov: Preludes and Melodies (American Record Guide “Critics’ Choice 2011”), and Bach Transcribed; and for Warner Classics, Baroque Reflections (Gramophone “Editor’s Choice”).
The Cyprus Symphony Orchestra is putting on a little music that will attract children with songs from the children’s album O Tempelis Drakos (The Lazy Dragon) by Georgos Hadjipieris.
The orchestra will give two performances, one at the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation in Nicosia on Friday and on Saturday the music turns away from the city and goes to the Acropolis Park, when the timing is a bit more suitable for little ones.
Although the performances will include works from the children’s album, such as Skouloukouin and Elefantaki, adults can also enjoy the music as songs by Greek composer Manos Hadjidakis, and other classic works, will also be played.
The orchestra will be directed by Alkis Baltas and the accompanying singers are Foivos Delivorias, Doros Demosthenous, Sofia Papazoglou and Mariastella Tzanoudaki.
Piano Recital with Alessio Bax
A recital as part of the 15th International Pharos Chamber Music Festival. May 22. The Shoe Factory, Nicosia. 8.30pm. € 15/10. Tel: 22-663871
Orchestra in the City
Open air concert by the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra. May 22. Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation, Nicosia. 7.30pm. Tel: 22-128157
The Orchestra in the City: The Music Park
Performance from the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra. May 23. Acropolis Park, Strovolos, Nicosia. 6.30pm. Free. Tel: 22-463144