First Monday at Jordan Hall: Rachmaninoff
Join us as we celebrate 39 years of First Mondays, curated by Artistic Director Laurence Lesser. Programs feature well-loved classics and new compositions, performed by some of the finest chamber musicians in the world, free and open to all. First Mondays are fresh and full of imaginative pairings of well-loved classics and new works, performed in one of the finest places on the planet to hear music of this caliber: NEC’s own Jordan Hall.
This is an in-person event with a private stream available to the NEC community here: https://necmusic.edu/live
Sergei Rachmaninoff | Songs
The Lilacs, op. 21 no. 5
Loneliness, op. 21 no. 6
The Soldier’s Wife, op. 8 no. 4
A Dream, op. 8 no. 5
Spring Waters, op. 14 no. 11
- brief pause -
Daisies, op. 38 no. 3
A-Oo, op. 38 no. 6
Dream, op. 38 no. 5
- Sari Gruber, soprano
- Cameron Stowe, piano
Sergei Rachmaninoff | Trio Élégiaque No. 2 in D Minor, op. 9
Moderato - Allegro vivace
Quasi variazione: Andante
Allegro risoluto - ModeratoArtists
- Alessio Bax, piano
- Maria Ioudenitch '20 MM, '22 AD, violin
- Brannon Cho '19 AD, cello
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. He has appeared as a concerto soloist who has appeared with more than 150 orchestras, including the New York, London, Royal, and St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestras, the Baltimore, 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.
As a renowned chamber musician, he recently collaborated with Joshua Bell, Ian Bostridge, Lucille Chung, Vilde Frang, Steven Isserlis, Daishin Kashimoto, Sergei Nakariakov, Emmanuel Pahud, Lawrence Power, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Paul Watkins and Tabea Zimmermann.
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.
Bax’s award winning Signum Classics discography includes 13 albums covering a wide range of solo, piano duo and concerto repertoire.
At the record 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. A Steinway artist, he lives in New York City with pianist Lucille Chung and their daughter, Mila. He has been on the piano faculty of Boston’s New England Conservatory since the fall of 2019.
Brannon Cho is the First Prize winner of the prestigious 6th International Paulo Cello Competition, and is also a top prize winner of the Queen Elisabeth, Naumburg, and Cassadó International Cello Competitions.
Most recently, Brannon Cho is the recipient of the 2020 Janos Starker Foundation Award, the Landgraf von Hessen Prize from Kronberg Academy, the 2019 Ivan Galamian Award previously held by James Ehnes, and is a scholarship holder in the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation.
Brannon Cho has appeared as a soloist with many of the top orchestras around the world, including the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Belgian National Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, and Brussels Philharmonic.
Born in New Jersey, Brannon Cho received his bachelor’s degree from North-western University’s Bienen School of Music under Hans Jørgen Jensen. He was awarded the Artist Diploma from New England Conservatory, where he studied with Laurence Lesser. He also completed the Professional Studies program at the Kronberg Academy, under the tutelage of Frans Helmerson. Brannon Cho performs on a rare cello made by Antonio Casini in 1668 in Modena, Italy, and is sponsored by Thomastik-Infeld.
Hailed as “nothing short of sensational” by Opera magazine, Sari Gruber has appeared with Lyric Opera of Chicago, NYCO, Los Angeles Opera, Netherlands Opera, Maggio Musicale di Firenze, Saito Kinen Festival, Seiji Ozawa’s Ongaku-Juku, Opera Philadelphia, Pittsburgh Opera, Florida Grand, Opera Pacific, OTSL, Boston Lyric, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Portland Opera, Connecticut Opera, Austin Lyric, and Arizona Opera, performing her signature roles of Susanna/Le nozze di Figaro, Despina/Così fan tutte, and Musetta/La Bohème, in addition to Pamina/Zauberflöte, Norina/Don Pasquale, Adina/L’elisir d’amore, Gretel/Hänsel und Gretel, Gilda/Rigoletto, Juliette/Roméo et Juliette, Anne/Rake’s Progress, Vixen/Cunning Little Vixen, Rose/Street Scene, Alexandra/Regina, Nannetta/Falstaff, Aricie/Hippolyte et Aricie, Poppea / Agrippina, Carolina/Matrimonio Segreto, Marzelline/Fidelio, Fiordiligi/Così fan tutte, Zerlina/Don Giovanni, Adele/Fledermaus, Beth/Little Women, Lisette/Rondine , Miss Hedgehog/Fantastic Mr. Fox (World Premiere), and Helena/Midsummer Night’s Dream.
An acclaimed recitalist and the 2005 Naumburg Competition winner, Ms. Gruber has sung many solo recitals with long-time collaborator Cameron Stowe at Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, and noted recital venues throughout the US, including BSO’s Shakespeare Festival. Additionally, she has sung in recital with NY Philhar-monic’s Copland Festival and frequently with NY Festival of Song. Further concert credits include the Symphony Orchestras of Pittsburgh, Dallas, Boston, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Houston, Indianapolis, North Carolina, Richmond, Savannah, Omaha, Winston-Salem, Jacksonville, and Columbus, the Philharmonics of Buffalo, Erie, and Florida, as well as Philharmonia Baroque, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Boston Baroque, Portland Baroque, ProMusica Chamber Ensemble, Aspen Music Festival Orchestra, Berkshire Choral Festival, and Skaneateles Festival, performing solo repertoire including B Minor Mass, Messiah, Silete Venti, The Creation, Mozart’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Egmont and Symphony No. 9, Bruckner’s Te Deum, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 and 4, Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1916, Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5, Seven Deadly Sins, and Songfest.
Recent performances include Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang with Dallas Symphony, Messiah with Indianapolis Symphony, Four Last Songs with Symphoria, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Pittsburgh Symphony, and recitals with NYFOS, Bluff Series and CMU’s Chamber Music Series. Ms. Gruber serves on the voice faculty of Carnegie Mellon University.
American-Russian violinist Maria Ioudenitch captured the attention of music lovers worldwide when she received first prizes in three international violin competitions – the Ysaÿe, Tibor Varga and Joseph Joachim – in 2021, as well as numerous special prizes at these competitions, including Joachim’s Chamber Music Award, the prize for Best Interpretation of the Commissioned Work and the Henle Urtext Prize. In 2023, she won the Opus Klassik award in the category “Chamber Music Recording of the Year” for her debut album, Songbird, on Warner Classics.
Highlights of Maria’s 23/24 season include concerts with Camerata Bern, where she will open the season with a play-direct program, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, Stuttgart Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio Symphony and Dresden Philharmonic, the latter to include a six-city tour of the UK. Further-more, she made her debut at the Vienna Musikverein in October 2023, where she performed with Elena Bashkirova, among others. She will also feature on the Marlboro Music Festival’s US tour, having attended the festival under the artistic direction of Mitsuko Uchida and Jonathan Biss for the third time this summer. In September, she participated in the Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival directed by Elena Bashkirova, and in February, she returns to Carnegie Hall for a chamber music concert presented by the Kronberg Academy. This season, for the first time she will also perform recitals with her father, Stanislav Ioudenitch.
Maria grew up in Kansas City and began playing violin with Gregory Sandomirsky at the age of three. She continued her studies with Ben Sayevich at the International Center for Music in Kansas City and Pamela Frank and Shmuel Ashkenasi at the Curtis Institute of Music and completed her master’s degree and Artist Diploma at New England Conservatory, where she studied with Miriam Fried. Last year, she was mentored by Sonia Simmenauer as part of her new initiative, zukunfts.music. Currently, she is in the Professional Studies program at the Kronberg Academy, working with Christian Tetzlaff. She is also a member of the emerging US-based chamber music collective, ensemble132.
Pianist Cameron Stowe is a leading specialist in the study and performance of song recital repertoire. Throughout his career his work has been led by his passion for poetry and song, and he has received much critical praise and numerous awards for his commitment to this art form. A pianist "worth his weight in gold," "Strong, precise, supple and sensitive" (New York Times) he has been praised for "his subtlety, his knack of supporting the voice and engaging it in dialogue, his powers of mood painting" (Washington Post) and his ability to "match the singer subtlety for subtlety, shimmer for shimmer" (Baltimore Sun).
Stowe has appeared in concert venues and music festivals throughout the world, playing with some of most prominent concert singers of his generation, including Randall Scarlata, Denyce Graves, Measha Brueggergosman, Danielle DeNiese, Faith Esham, Susan Graham, Vinson Cole, Sari Gruber, and Jesse Blumberg.
For more than a decade Stowe has served as Chair of the Collaborative Piano department at New England Conservatory and as a faculty member at The Juilliard School. This past summer marked his second year as director of Collaborative Piano at Aspen Music Festival. Other festival activities include residencies at Toronto Summer Music Festival, Placido Domingo Festival, Vancouver International Song Institute, and he has given masterclasses for singers and pianists throughout the United States and abroad.
Stowe holds a doctorate from Juilliard and degrees from The Peabody Conservatory (Johns Hopkins), Oberlin College Conservatory, and the North Carolina School of the Arts.