Formed in 2011, MiXt is a versatile, dynamic, and vibrant chamber group comprised of award-winning soloists on the Young Concert Artists roster. Performing in a variety of configurations, the trio consists of clarinetist José Franch-Ballester, violinist Bella Hristova, and pianist Ran Dank. These dazzling soloists and accomplished chamber musicians of diverse backgrounds entice audiences with engaging programs. Their inaugural season will feature a premiere of a new work written by the 2012-14 YCA Composer-in-Residence and will include debuts in New York at Merkin Hall in the Summis Auspiciis Concert, and in Washington, DC at the Kennedy Center – both in the Young Concert Artists Series – as well as performances and educational residencies across the country. miXt holds the Helen F. Whitaker Chamber Music Chair of YCA.
Spanish clarinetist Jose Franch-Ballester is a soloist and chamber musician of “poetic eloquence” (The New York Sun) and “technical wizardry” (The New York Times) in great demand. As a graduate of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two program, he is regularly invited back to perform with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, as well as frequent appearances at Chamber Music Northwest, Music from Angel Fire, and internationally at the Cartagena Festival Internacional de Música, and the Young Concert Artists Festival at Nexus Hall in Tokyo. As concerto soloist Mr. Franch-Ballester has appeared with numerous orchestras including the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, and in Spain with the Orquesta de Radio y Television Española and the Orquesta Sinfonica Castellon. In 2010 he was awarded Cannes’ MIDEM/IAMA Prize for Outstanding Young Artist and received a coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2008. He earned a Bachelor of Music from The Curtis Institute of Music in 2005, working with Donald Montanaro and Pamela Frank.
Bella Hristova is a violinist of extraordinary qualities that have already brought her a lively and varied concert life. With her “commanding stage presence” (The Strad), Ms. Hristova engages audiences with equal mastery of “impressive power and control” (The Washington Post) and “expressive nuance” (The New York Times). Highlights from her busy season included Ravinia’s Rising Stars Series; her UK solo debut with the Ulster Orchestra; a tour with Musicians from Marlboro; and a solo performance with the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. She has extensive experience performing chamber music at festivals and as a member of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two program. Born in Pleven, Bulgaria, Ms. Hristova attended The Curtis Institute, where she worked with Ida Kavafian and studied chamber music with Steven Tenenbom. She received her Artist Diploma with Jaime Laredo at Indiana University in 2010. She is a recipient of YCA’s Helen Armstrong Violin Fellowship.
Pianist Ran Dank deploys his brilliant technique with astonishing energy and intensity, captivating audiences and critics alike. He has performed as soloist with the Phoenix, and Ann Arbor symphonies, and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s as well as in recitals presented by the Washington Performing Arts Society’s prestigious Hayes Piano Series at the Kennedy Center and the Morgan Library and Museum in New York. As a chamber musician, Mr. Dank has performed at the YCA Tokyo Festival, the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, and he performed with the four piano ensemble fourtissimo at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall. Born in Israel, Mr. Dank started piano lessons at the age of seven. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from the Rubin Academy of Music at Tel Aviv University, and received his Master’s degree from the Juilliard School where he worked with Emanuel Ax and Joseph Kalichstein and an Artist Diploma under Robert McDonald. He is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Musical Arts degree with Ursula Oppens and Richard Goode at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY).