Ariel Quartet joined by award-winning pianist in Nov. 21 concert

The ensemble welcomes Alessio Bax for Dvořák's Piano Quintet No. 2

Story by CCM Graduate Assistant Lucy Evans

The Ariel Quartet, UC College-Conservatory of Music’s String Quartet-in-Residence, continues its season Tuesday, Nov 21 at 7:30 p.m. in Werner Recital Hall. Alessio Bax, the award-winning Italian pianist, joins Ariel for the program’s finale: Dvořák’s Piano Quintet in A major, widely regarded as one of the masterpieces of the form. Tickets are on sale now through the CCM Box Office.

The program begins with Schumann’s String Quartet No. 3 in A Major. Throughout the quartet’s four movements, off-beat rhythmic gestures lend the music a sense of instability which is at times breathless in the first movement, angst-ridden in the third, or jovial in the robust dance of the final movement.

Tan Dun’s “Eight Colors for String Quartet” follows the Schumann. Drawing inspiration from the sounds of the Peking Opera, Buddhist chant and western atonality, the piece is a vivid conversation between the music of the Dun’s native China and the western canon. In a program note, the composer describes the work’s eight movements as “a set of brush paintings, through which materials are shared and developed…I began to find a way to mingle old materials from my culture with the new, to contribute something to the western idea of atonality and refresh it.”

For Dvořák’s Piano Quintet in A major, the program’s thrilling finale, the quartet is joined by Alessio Bax. The 2009 winner of the Avery Fisher Grant, Bax appears regularly as a soloist with the world’s major orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic and the Tokyo Symphony. He has appeared in recitals worldwide, and his playing is featured in the critically-acclaimed film, Call Me by Your Name.

The Piano Quintet in A major is actually a revision of a much earlier piece. Dissatisfied with his first Piano Quintet, Dvořák returned to the manuscript 15 years later—applying his mature creative style to a work which he wrote in the beginning of his career. The resulting quintet is hailed as one of the finest examples of late-Romantic chamber music. Full of wistful lyricism and joyful, frenzied climaxes, Dvořák draws inspiration from Czech folk tunes to deliver music which is characteristically evocative of a time and place while remaining wholly original. 

The Ariel Quartet presents its final concert of the fall semester at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 21 in Robert J. Werner Recital Hall. Tickets are on sale through the CCM Box Office

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 2000 Leeds International Piano Competition and the 1997 Hamamatsu International Piano Competition and is now a familiar face on five continents as a recitalist, chamber musician, and concerto soloist. He has appeared with over 150 orchestras, including the New York, London, Royal, and St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestras, the Boston, Dallas, Cincinnati, Seattle, Sydney, and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestras, and the Tokyo and NHK Symphony in Japan, collaborating with such eminent conductors as Marin Alsop, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Andrew Davis, Fabio Luisi, Sir Simon Rattle, Yuri Temirkanov, and Jaap van Zweden.

Highlights of the 2023-24 season include his debut with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis, return performances with Dallas Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, and Buenos Aires Philharmonic, his fifth performance at the famed Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, a tour of Asia with violinist Daishin Kashimoto, and of Japan with flutist Emmanuel Pahud, numerous New York appearances with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and a wide range of high-profile chamber music projects, recitals, and concerto performances in Europe, Asia, and across the United States.

As a renowned chamber musician, he recently collaborated with Joshua Bell, Ian Bostridge, Lucille Chung, Vilde Frang, Steven Isserlis, Daishin Kashimoto, François Leleux, Sergei Nakariakov, Emmanuel Pahud, Lawrence Power, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Paul Watkins, and Tabea Zimmermann, among many others.

Since 2017, he has been the Artistic Director of the Incontri in Terra di Siena Festival, a Summer Music Festival in the Val d’Orcia region of Tuscany. He appears regularly in festivals such as Seattle, Bravo Vail, Salon-de-Provence, Le Pont in Japan, Great Lakes, Verbier, Ravinia, and Music@Menlo.

In 2009, he was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant, and four years later he received both the Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award and the Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists.

Bax’s celebrated Signum Classics discography includes "Italian Inspirations," Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” and “Moonlight” Sonatas (a Gramophone “Editor’s Choice”); Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto; Bax & Chung, a duo disc with Lucille Chung; Alessio Bax plays Mozart, recorded with London’s Southbank Sinfonia; Alessio Bax: Scriabin & Mussorgsky (named “Recording of the Month ... and quite possibly ... 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”). Recorded for Warner Classics, his Baroque Reflections album was also a Gramophone “Editor’s Choice.” He performed Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” Sonata for Daniel Barenboim in the PBS-TV documentary Barenboim on Beethoven: Masterclass, available on DVD from EMI. The next season will see the release of two additional discs for Signum Classics: a new solo recital album and a four hands/two pianos disc of French music with Lucille Chung.

At the age of 14, Bax graduated with top honors from the conservatory of Bari, his hometown in Italy, and after further studies in Europe, he moved to the United States in 1994. He has been on the piano faculty of Boston’s New England Conservatory since the fall of 2019 and serves as co-artistic director of the Joaquín Achúcarro Foundation for emerging pianists.

Bax lives in New York City with pianist Lucille Chung and their daughter, Mila.


SCHUMANN: String Quartet No. 3 in A Major, Op. 41/3 
DUN: Eight Colors for String Quartet 
DVORAK: Piano Quintet No. 2 in A Major, Op. 81, B. 155

Performance Time

  • 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 21 


Robert J. Werner Recital Hall, CCM Village 
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets

Tickets: $29.50 adult, $15 student, $19.75 UC faculty/staff, $10 UC student, $5 CCM student; group discounts available.

 Experiencing the magic of CCM OnStage has never been easier! Purchase your tickets:

CCM’s Box Office hours are 1-5 p.m., Tuesday-Friday, and one hour prior to curtain for ticketed performances. Hours subject to change based on the University of Cincinnati calendar. Our Box Office staff is always ready to answer your questions by phone at 513-556-4183 or email at

UC Student Ticket Options

Current UC students can purchase up to two tickets for each CCM OnStage concert and show at the discounted rate of just $10 per ticket; the discounted rate for current CCM students is $5 per ticket. Learn more.

Student discounts do not apply to CCM development fundraising events.

Directions and Parking

CCM is located on the campus of the University of Cincinnati. For detailed driving directions, visit

Parking is available in UC's CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Effective July 1, 2023, all University of Cincinnati Parking Services locations will become cashless. Pay for parking securely with your credit/debit card. All major credit cards accepted.

CCM OnStage patrons can add pre-paid parking to their checkout carts when purchasing tickets. Pre-paid parking is date/performance specific. CCM Garage parking rates for a performance or special event is usually available for $10-15. Learn more about parking at UC's CCM Garage.

For additional information on parking at UC, please visit

Next OnStage

There's more to explore — view CCM's full schedule of fall major events at

Stay up to date on CCM news and events by subscribing to our Next OnStage email newsletter, which is published every other Wednesday. Visit to sign up for email updates.

Interested in early access to CCM's ticket sales? Join CCMpower and gain advanced access to 2024-25 ticket sales. CCMpower members also receive 10% off general ticket prices for the full year. Learn more about CCMpower membership benefits.

All event dates and programs are subject to change. For a complete calendar of events, please visit

Headshot of Lucy Evans

Lucy Evans

CCM Graduate Assistant, Marketing + Communications

Lucy Evans is an artist diploma student studying Opera-Vocal Performance at CCM. She is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, and was recently an Apprentice Artist with the Santa Fe Opera.

Additional Contacts

Curt Whitacre | Director of Marketing/Communications | UC College-Conservatory of Music

| 513-556-2683

Related Stories


See a concert or show at CCM: Fall schedule of major events now available

August 15, 2023

Experience world-class performances by the next generation of performing and media artists at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM)! The college’s fall 2023 schedule of ticketed events is now available; tickets are on sale beginning 1 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 15 through the CCM Box Office website.


CCM shares spring 2023 schedule of major performances and events

November 22, 2022

Audiences are invited to return to the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music’s (CCM) concert halls and theaters to experience world-class performances and presentations by the next generation of performing and media artists! The college’s spring 2023 schedule of free and ticketed events is now available. Tickets go on sale to the general public beginning on Monday, Nov. 28, through the CCM Box Office.


CCM shares fall 2022 schedule of performances and public events

August 12, 2022

Audiences are invited to return to the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music’s (CCM) concert halls and theaters to experience world-class performances and presentations by the next generation of performing and media artists! The college’s fall 2022 schedule of free and ticketed events is now available. Tickets go on sale beginning on Monday, Aug. 22, through the CCM Box Office website.