Lucille Chung Releases Poulenc CD on Signum Classics, Joined by Alessio Bax (U.S. Release, June 10)

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Lucille Chung Releases Poulenc CD on Signum Classics, Joined by Alessio Bax (U.S. Release, June 10)

Canadian pianist Lucille Chung – a First Prize winner of the Stravinsky International Piano Competition, lauded by Gramophone for her “stylish and refined” performances – releases an all-Poulenc CD this month, joined on three pieces by her husband and duo partner, Alessio Bax (May 6, UK; June 10, U.S.). She performs two sets of miniatures on the album – the 15 Improvisations and 3 Novelettes – before collaborating with Bax on the Sonata for Four Hands, L’embarquement pour Cythère, and Poulenc’s arrangement for two solo pianos of his Concerto for Two Pianos in D minor.

Praised by the UK’s Sunday Times as “a considerable artist, admirable for her bold choice of music,” upon the release of the first volume of her complete recording of Ligeti’s piano works, her solo discs also include Camille Saint-Saëns: Piano Transcriptions and Mozart & Me. As a duo artist with Bax, she has also recorded Saint-Saëns’s Carnival of the Animals with narrator Michael York, and 2013’s Bax & Chung: Piano Duo, featuring Stravinsky’s four-hand version of his ballet Pétrouchka as well as music by Brahms and Piazzolla. Most recently she appeared on Bax’s Signum Classics collection Lullabies for Mila, selected for and dedicated to their young daughter, born in 2014.

Born in Montreal, Chung made her debut at the age of 10 with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, and Charles Dutoit subsequently invited her as a soloist on the orchestra’s tour to Asia. She has since performed with more than 65 orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Moscow Virtuosi, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Seoul Philharmonic, and all the major orchestras in Canada. As a recitalist she has performed in over 35 countries, at venues such as London’s Wigmore Hall, New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw.

After meeting Bax at the 1997 Hamamatsu Competition, where he took First Prize, the two carried on a courtship by telephone and email while on separate tours, eventually marrying in 2004. Together they have performed in major festivals and concert halls around the world; in 2008 alone, they logged 20,000 miles by train as they toured their four-hand Pétrouchka across the far reaches of Stravinsky’s homeland. The magazine Music and Arts has described their musical partnership as “a marriage of wondrous colours and dextrous aplomb, subtly balanced to make a musical performance sound as one.” The duo’s abundant artistic chemistry, passion, and dazzling virtuosity make them one of the most appealing and impressive piano duos of our time. They are co-artistic directors of the Joaquín Achúcarro Foundation in Dallas, Texas, created to cultivate the legacy of the Basque pianist and to support young pianists’ careers. Last fall they began a three-year appointment as Johnson-Prothro Artists-in-Residence at SMU Meadows School of the Arts.

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© 21C Media Group, May 2016

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