This preview has been provided by the UNC School of the Arts.

The renowned Chamber Music Society (CMS) of Lincoln Center returns to the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) this month to perform music by Johannes Brahms and Gabriel Fauré. The touring ensemble consists of Alessio Bax, piano; Ani Kavafian, violin; Yura Lee, viola; and Paul Watkins, cello.

The concert will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 22, in Watson Hall. Tickets are $25 regular and $20 student (with valid ID) and are available at or by calling the box office at 336-721-1945. Watson Hall is located in the School of Music Complex on the UNCSA campus, 1533 South Main St. in Winston-Salem.

“Our relationship with the Chamber Music Society offers a unique experience for both our students and the arts lovers of the Triad,” says Brian Cole, Dean of the School of Music. “The education of UNCSA’s aspiring musicians is enriched with guidance from professionals, and Winston-Salem residents have the chance to see nationally acclaimed artists perform right here in their own backyard. We look forward to watching our partnership grow with this year’s concerts.”

This visit continues a partnership between UNCSA’s Chrysalis Chamber Music Institute and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Officially announced in February 2015, the Institute is a unique graduate program dedicated to the development of outstanding chamber musicians. It brings CMS artists to UNCSA for concerts and master classes at least twice a year. Chrysalis Institute students also have the opportunity to participate in CMS master classes at Lincoln Center.

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center is known for the extraordinary quality of its performances, its inspired programming, and for setting the benchmark for chamber music worldwide: No other chamber music organization does more to promote, to educate, and to foster a love of and appreciation for the art form. Whether at its home in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in New York, on leading stages throughout North America, or at prestigious venues in Europe and Asia, CMS brings together the very best international artists from an ever-expanding roster of more than 150 artists per season, to provide audiences with the kind of exhilarating concert experiences that have led to critics calling CMS “an exploding star in the musical firmament” (Wall Street Journal).

The repertoire for the afternoon features Fauré’s Quartet for Piano, Violin, Viola, and Cello No. 2 in G minor, Op. 45 as well as two works by Brahms: “Scherzo, WoO 2” from “F-A-E” Sonata for Violin and Piano and Quartet for Piano, Violin, Viola, and Cello No. 2 in A major, Op. 26.

About Alessio Bax

Pianist Alessio Bax – a First Prize winner at the Leeds and Hamamatsu International Piano Competitions and a 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient – has appeared as soloist with more than 100 orchestras worldwide, including the London Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Japan’s NHK Symphony, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic under Yuri Temirkanov, and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with Sir Simon Rattle. Among festival appearances are England’s International Piano Series and the Aldeburgh and Bath festivals, Switzerland’s Verbier Festival, the Risør Festival in Norway, Germany’s Ruhr Klavier-Festival and Beethovenfest, and the U.S.’s Music@Menlo, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and Italy’s Incontri in Terra di Siena Festival, where he was recently appointed Artistic Director for a three-year term starting in 2017.

Bax’s acclaimed discography includes a Mussorgsky and Scriabin solo disc; Lullabies for Mila, a collection dedicated to his baby daughter; Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” and “Moonlight” Sonatas (Gramophone “Editor’s Choice”); Alessio Bax plays Brahms (Gramophone “Critics’ Choice”); Rachmaninov: Preludes & Melodies (American Record Guide “Critics’ Choice”); Bach Transcribed; and Baroque Reflections (Gramophone “Editor’s Choice”). At age 14, he graduated with top honors from the conservatory of Bari, his hometown in Italy, and after further studies in Europe he moved to the U.S. in 1994. A Steinway artist, he resides in New York City with his wife, pianist Lucille Chung, and their daughter.

About Ani Kavafian

Violinist Ani Kavafian is enjoying a busy career as a chamber musician, recitalist, and soloist with orchestras. She is also in great demand as a teacher, having taught at the Mannes and Manhattan schools of music, Queens College, and McGill and Stony Brook universities. In 2006 she was appointed full professor in the practice of violin at Yale. She conducts master classes around the country and will be a guest lecturer and performer at Indiana University in 2016. As a soloist, she has appeared with the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia and Cleveland orchestras, as well as with the Los Angeles and Saint Paul chamber orchestras. With her sister, Ida, she appears around the country in recital and as soloists with orchestras. For more than 25 years, she was co-artistic director of the Mostly Music series in New Jersey. She has performed with the Chamber Music Society since 1972 and continues to tour the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia with CMS.  Kavafian was a 1979 recipient of the Avery Fisher Prize, and has appeared at the White House on three occasions. Her recordings include Bach’s six sonatas with Kenneth Cooper on the Kleos Classics label, Mozart sonatas with pianist Jorge Federico Osorio on the Artek label, and Todd Machover’s concerto Forever and Ever with the Boston Modern Orchestra. Ms. Kavafian is concertmaster of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra and performs Bruch’s G minor Violin Concerto with the orchestra this year. Her instrument is the 1736 “Muir-McKenzie” Stradivarius.

About Yura Lee

Violinist/violist Yura Lee is a multi-faceted musician, as soloist and as a chamber musician, and one of the very few that is equally virtuosic in both violin and viola. She has performed with major orchestras including those of New York, Chicago, Baltimore, Cleveland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. She has given recitals in London’s Wigmore Hall, Vienna’s Musikverein, Salzburg’s Mozarteum, Brussels’ Palais des Beaux-Arts, and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. At age 12, she became the youngest artist ever to receive the Debut Artist of the Year prize at the Performance Today awards given by National Public Radio. She is a recipient of the 2007 Avery Fisher Career Grant, and the first prize winner of the 2013 ARD Competition. She has received numerous other international prizes, including top prizes in the Mozart, Indianapolis, Hannover, Kreisler, Bashmet, and Paganini competitions. Her CD Mozart in Paris with Reinhard Goebel and the Bayerische Kammerphilharmonie received the prestigious Diapason d’Or Award. As a chamber musician, she regularly takes part in the festivals of Marlboro, Salzburg, Verbier, and Caramoor. Her main teachers included Dorothy DeLay, Hyo Kang, Miriam Fried, Paul Biss, Thomas Riebl, Ana Chumachenko, and Nobuko Imai. She is a former member of Chamber Music Society Two, as both violinist and violist.

About Paul Watkins

Paul Watkins enjoys a remarkably varied and distinguished career as soloist, chamber musician, and conductor. Recent highlights as concerto soloist include performances with the Colorado Symphony, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and BBC symphony orchestras, as well as the premiere of a new concerto written especially for him by Mark-Anthony Turnage, concerto appearances with the European Union Youth Orchestra under Bernard Haitink, and with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in the premiere of Huw Watkins’ cello concerto at the BBC Proms. A dedicated chamber musician, he was a member of the Nash Ensemble from 1997 to 2013, and joined the Emerson String Quartet in 2013. He is a regular participant at international festivals and chamber music series, and regularly performs with the world’s most eminent musicians. In 2014, he was appointed the artistic director of the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival. A Grammy-nominated conductor, he became the first ever music director of the English Chamber Orchestra in 2009, and also served as principal guest conductor of the Ulster Orchestra from 2009 to 2012. Since winning the 2002 Leeds Conducting Competition, he has conducted all the major British orchestras, the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Swedish and Vienna chamber orchestras, Prague Symphony, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic, Melbourne Symphony, and the Queensland and Tokyo Metropolitan symphony orchestras. Watkins records exclusively for Chandos Records, and plays a cello made by Domenico Montagnana and Matteo Goffriller in Venice, c. 1730.

About the University of North Carolina School of the Arts

The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is America’s first state-supported arts school, a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in dance, design and production, drama, filmmaking, and music. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system when it was formed in 1972. For more information, visit