Washington University announces 2023 Great Artists Series

J’Nai Bridges, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields with cellist Johannes Moser, Emanuel Ax and Augustin Hadelich

Acclaimed mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges will launch Washington University’s 2023 Great Artists Series Jan. 29. (Photo: S. Richards Photography)

2022 Grammy Award-winner J’Nai Bridges is “a plush-voiced mezzo-soprano” (New York Times) with a “calmly commanding stage presence” (The New Yorker). England’s legendary Academy of St Martin in the Fields is among “the world’s finest chamber orchestras” (South Florida Classical Review), while Johannes Moser is “a rock star cellist” (Dallas Observer).

Celebrated pianist Emanuel Ax is “magisterial” and “unfailingly elegant” (Philadelphia Inquirer). Virtuoso violinist Augustin Hadelich revels “in the myriad ways of making a phrase come alive” (Washington Post).

The Great Artists Series at Washington University in St. Louis presents affordably priced concerts by some of today’s finest classical musicians. The 2023 season — the series’ sixth — will open Jan. 29 with a solo recital by Bridges, followed by the academy and Moser on March 4. Ax will perform March 26; Hadelich will conclude the series April 16.

“J’Nai Bridges was a great success as Nefertiti in the Metropolitan Opera’s recent ‘Akhnaten,’” said Patrick Burke, associate professor and chair of music in Arts & Sciences. “The academy is an institution beloved by classical audiences around the world, and Johannes Moser is one of the finest cellists of his generation.

“Emanuel Ax is a consummate soloist who plays with power, lyricism and imagination,” Burke added. “Augustin Hadelich is a renowned musician whose chosen repertoire ranges from Bach to Bartók.

“We are thrilled to welcome them all to St. Louis.”

The Academy of St Martin in the Fields, led by violist Joshua Bell, will join acclaimed cellist Johannes Moser March 4. (Photo: Benjamin Ealovega)


Subscriptions to all four recitals are $120 – a 25% discount from single-ticket pricing — and include premier reserved seating, post-concert receptions with the artists (when available), and all ticketing fees. Subscription orders will be available online beginning May 23.

Single tickets are $40, or $32 for Washington University faculty and staff, and $15 for students and children. Single-ticket sales will be available beginning Sept. 6.

All four performances take place in the E. Desmond Lee Concert Hall of the 560 Music Center, located at 560 Trinity Ave., at the intersection with Delmar Boulevard. Tickets are available through the Edison Theatre Box Office, 314-935-6543, or at edison.wustl.edu.

J’Nai Bridges (Photo: S. Richards Photography)

J’Nai Bridges

Known for her “rich, dark, exciting sound” (Opera News), Bridges is “a rising star” (Los Angeles Times) who has graced many of the world’s top opera and concert stages. Recent highlights include appearances with the Washington National Opera, the National Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the San Francisco Symphony.

In 2019, Bridges made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Nefertiti in Philip Glass’ “Akhnaten,” a production that won the 2022 Grammy Award for best opera recording. Bridges also was featured in Richard Danielpour’s oratorio “The Passion of Yeshua” with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, which won the 2021 Grammy for best choral performance. Other recent highlights include a sold-out Carnegie Hall recital debut; the role of Kasturbai in Glass’ “Satyagraha” at LA Opera; and debuts at Dutch National Opera and the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona.

Read the full bio here.

Cellist Johannes Moser will join the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields March 4. (Photo: Manfred Esser/Haenssler Classic)

The Academy of St Martin in the Fields with Johannes Moser

Formed by Sir Neville Marriner in 1958 from a group of leading London musicians, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields is renowned for its fresh interpretations of the world’s greatest orchestral music. Currently led by virtuoso violinist Joshua Bell, the Academy retains the collegial spirit and flexibility of the original small, conductor-less ensemble. With the support of director Tomo Keller and principal guest conductor Murray Perahia, the academy continues to push the boundaries of play-directed performance to new heights.

Moser, born into a musical family in 1979, began studying cello at age 8 and was the top prize winner at the 2002 Tchaikovsky Competition. He has performed with many leading orchestras, including the Berliner Philharmoniker, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony and BBC Philharmonic at the Proms. Major recordings include concertos by Dvořák, Lalo, Elgar, Lutosławski, Dutilleux and Tchaikovsky. Major honors include the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, the Diapason d’Or and the 2014 Brahms Prize.

Read their full bios here.

Emanuel Ax will perform March 26. (Photo: Lisa Marie Mazzucco)

Emanuel Ax

Born in Lvov, Poland, Ax moved to Winnipeg, Canada, with his family when he was a young boy. He made his New York debut in the Young Concert Artists Series, and in 1974 won the first Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Tel Aviv, Israel. In 1975, he won the Michaels Award of Young Concert Artists, followed four years later by the Avery Fisher Prize.

A Sony Classical exclusive artist since 1987, Ax recently recorded Brahms trios with Yo-Yo Ma and Leonidas Kavakos. He has received Grammy Awards for the second and third volumes of his cycle of Haydn’s piano sonatas, and with Ma made a series of Grammy-winning recordings of Beethoven and Brahms sonatas for cello and piano. He also contributed to an Emmy Award-winning BBC documentary commemorating the Holocaust, which aired on the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

Read the full bio here.

Violinist Augustin Hadelich will conclude the 2023 series April 16. (Photo: Rosalie O’Connor)

Augustin Hadelich

Born in Italy to German parents, Hadelich studied with Joel Smirnoff at The Juilliard School and is now an American citizen. One of the great violinists of our time, he has appeared with major orchestras across North America, Europe and Asia, from the New York, London and Hong Kong philharmonics to the Boston, Chicago, New Zealand and Singapore symphonies, among many others.

Named Musical America’s 2018 “Instrumentalist of the Year,” Hadelich’s numerous honors include a 2016 Grammy Award for best classical instrumental solo for his recording of Dutilleux’s Violin Concerto “L’Arbre des songes” with the Seattle Symphony. His most recent recording is a Grammy-nominated double CD of Johann Sebastian Bach’s six solo sonatas and partitas.

Read the full bio here.