Skip to main content

Van Cliburn Concert Series Returns to Crystal Bridges With Award-Winning Classical Musicians

2024 performances to feature Grammy Winner Emanuel Ax, Classical Pianist Kenny Broberg with Violinist Maria loudenitch, Virtuoso Pianist Duo Alessio Bax and Lucille Chung.

Download high-resolution images. 

BENTONVILLE, Ark.Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art today announced its extraordinary 2024 Van Cliburn Concert Series. The musical journey will feature three unique performances in America’s Heartland this spring, summer, and fall.  

On April 10, the museum will welcome Grammy Award-winning pianist Emanuel Ax. As a close friend to world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Emanual Ax is known as one of the greatest living classical pianists, with over 50 years of award-winning performances. Guests will have the special opportunity to witness his artistry in the intimate setting of the Great Hall, where he will captivate the audience on a piano once owned by the iconic Van Cliburn.  

The series will continue on July 26 with a romantic end-of-summer concert featuring American classical pianist Kenny Broberg and Russian-born violinist Maria Ioudenitch. The Bax-Chung Duo, comprised of virtuoso pianists Alessio Bax and Lucille Chung, will round out the 2024 series on September 5 with an exquisite four-hand performance showcasing their remarkable talent and unparalleled chemistry. 

Celebrated as one of the most persuasive ambassadors of American culture, as well as one of the greatest pianists in the history of music, Van Cliburn tore down cultural barriers and transcended politics by demonstrating the universality of classical music. In 1958, Cliburn won the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow during the Cold War, which led to worldwide recognition for his musical prowess.  

The beautiful Steinway and Sons grand piano played in this concert series was previously Van Cliburn’s home practice instrument. Its characteristic rich, sonorous voice lends itself perfectly to a variety of playing styles and stems from its regular use by so many skilled artists. The piano was donated to Crystal Bridges by Tommy Smith, Cliburn’s long-time partner. 


WHAT: Van Cliburn Concert: Emanuel Ax 

WHEN: Wednesday, April 10 | 7 PM 

WHERE: Crystal Bridges | Great Hall | 600 Museum Way, Bentonville, AR, 72712 

WHO: Born to Polish parents in what is today Lviv, Ukraine, Emanuel Ax moved to Winnipeg, Canada, with his family when he was a young boy. Mr. Ax made his New York debut in the Young Concert Artists Series, and in 1974 won the first Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Tel Aviv. In 1975 he won the Michaels Award of Young Concert Artists, followed four years later by the Avery Fisher Prize. 

Mr. Ax has been a Sony Classical exclusive recording artist since 1987 and following the success of the Brahms Trios with Kavakos and Ma, the trio launched an ambitious, multi-year project to record all the Beethoven Trios and Symphonies arranged for trio of which the first two discs have recently been released. He has received GRAMMY® Awards for the second and third volumes of his cycle of Haydn’s piano sonatas. He has also made a series of Grammy-winning recordings with cellist Yo-Yo Ma of the Beethoven and Brahms sonatas for cello and piano. 

In the 2004/05 season Mr. Ax contributed to an International EMMY® Award-Winning BBC documentary commemorating the Holocaust that aired on the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. In 2013, Mr. Ax’s recording Variations received the Echo Klassik Award for Solo Recording of the Year (19th Century Music/Piano). 

Mr. Ax is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and holds honorary doctorates of music from Skidmore College, New England Conservatory of Music, Yale University, and Columbia University. 

HOW: Tickets are $45 ($36 for members, $10 for students and teachers). Guests can purchase tickets online or with Guest Services at (479) 657-2335. 


WHAT: Van Cliburn Concert: Kenny Broberg and Maria loudenitch  

WHEN: Friday, July 26 | 7 PM 

WHERE: Crystal Bridges | Great Hall | 600 Museum Way, Bentonville, AR, 72712 

WHO: During his auspicious career before winning the 2021 American Pianist Awards and Christel DeHaan Classical Fellowship, Kenny Broberg captured the silver medal at the 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and a bronze medal at the 2019 International Tchaikovsky Competition as well as prizes at the Hastings, Sydney, Seattle and New Orleans International Piano Competitions, becoming one of the most decorated and internationally renowned pianists of his generation. Broberg is lauded for his inventive, intelligent and intense performances. 

Born in Russia, violinist Maria Ioudenitch immigrated with her musical family to the U.S. at the age of two and grew up in Kansas City. In 2021, she received first prizes in the Ysaÿe International Music Competition, the Tibor Varga International Violin Competition and the Joseph Joachim International Competition. She also received numerous special prizes at these competitions, including Joachim’s Chamber Music Award, the prize for Best Interpretation of the Commissioned Work, the Henle Urtext Prize, and a recording deal with Warner Classics. 

HOW: Tickets are $45 ($36 for members, $10 for students and teachers). Guests can purchase tickets online or with Guest Services at (479) 657-2335. 


WHAT: Van Cliburn Concert: Bax-Chung Duo 

WHEN: Thursday, September 5 | 7 PM 

WHERE: Crystal Bridges | Great Hall | 600 Museum Way, Bentonville, AR, 72712 

WHO: Alessio Bax is praised for creating “a ravishing listening experience” with his lyrical playing, insightful interpretations, and dazzling facility. First prize winner at the Leeds and Hamamatsu international piano competitions, a 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, and a winner of Lincoln Center’s Emerging Artist Award, he has appeared as soloist with more than 150 orchestras, including London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Dallas and Houston Symphonies, NHK Symphony in Japan, St. Petersburg Philharmonic with Yuri Temirkanov, and the City of Birmingham Symphony with Sir Simon Rattle. His much-lauded discography includes Italian Inspirations, an eclectic recital inspired by his native country, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, an album of Russian favorites by Scriabin and Mussorgsky, Mozart Piano Concertos K. 491 and K. 595, Beethoven’s Hammerklavier and Moonlight Sonatas, Alessio Bax Plays Brahms, Rachmaninov: Preludes & Melodies (an American Record Guide “Critics’ Choice”), Bach Transcribed, and Baroque Reflections (a Gramophone “Editor’s Choice”). He also released the collection Lullabies for Mila on Signum Classics, which also features Chung and is dedicated to their young daughter, born in 2014. 

First prize winner of the Stravinsky International Piano Competition, Lucille Chung has been celebrated for her “stylish and refined” performances by Gramophone. She was born in Montreal and made her debut at the age of ten with Montreal Symphony Orchestra, after which Charles Dutoit invited her as soloist on the orchestra’s tour of Asia. She has since performed with orchestras around the world, including Philadelphia Orchestra, Moscow Virtuosi, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Seoul Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, and Israel Chamber Orchestra, as well as all the major orchestras in Canada, among them the Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver Symphonies and National Arts Centre Orchestra. She has appeared with conductors such as Krzysztof Penderecki, Vladimir Spivakov, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and Vasily Petrenko. Her solo discography includes the first volume of her recording of György Ligeti’s complete piano works on the Dynamic label, as well as Camille Saint-Saëns: Piano Transcriptions, Mozart & Me, as well as an all-Poulenc and an all-Liszt albums for Signum Classics. 

HOW: Tickets are $45 ($36 for members, $10 for students and teachers). Guests can purchase tickets online or with Guest Services at (479) 657-2335. 

The Van Cliburn Concert Series Endowment Fund is supported by Marti and Kelly Sudduth, Mary Ann and Reed Greenwood, Kay and Ellis Melton, Susan and Chip Chambers, and Alice L. Walton. 

Additional sponsorship is provided by Ellen and Malcom Hayward.  

Special thanks to Tommy Smith and Steinway & Sons. 


About Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

The mission of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is to welcome all to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature. Since opening in 2011, the museum has welcomed more than 10.8 million visitors across its spaces, with no cost for admission. Crystal Bridges was founded in 2005 as a non-profit charitable organization by arts patron and philanthropist, Alice Walton. The collection spans five centuries of American masterworks from early American to current day and is enhanced by temporary exhibitions. The museum is nestled on 120 acres of Ozark landscape and was designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie. A rare Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house was preserved and relocated to the museum grounds in 2015. Crystal Bridges offers public programsincluding lectures, performances, classes, and teacher development opportunities. Some 300,000 school children have participated in the Willard and Pat Walker School Visit program, which provides educational experiences for school groups at no cost to the schools. Additional museum amenities include a restaurant, gift store, library, and five miles of art and walking trails. In February 2020, the museum opened the Momentary in Downtown Bentonville (507 SE E Street), conceived as a platform for the art, food, and music of our time. In 2026, Crystal Bridges will complete a nearly 100,000 square foot expansion that will allow the museum to expand access for all. For more information, visit The museum is located at 600 Museum Way, Bentonville, Arkansas 72712.