About

Emanuel Ax, pianist

Born in modern day Lvov, Poland, Emanuel Ax moved to Winnipeg, Canada, with his family when he was a young boy. His studies at the Juilliard School were supported by the sponsorship of the Epstein Scholarship Program of the Boys Clubs of America, and he subsequently won the Young Concert Artists Award. Additionally, he attended Columbia University where he majored in French. Mr. Ax made his New York debut in the Young Concert Artists Series, and captured public attention in 1974 when he 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 coveted Avery Fisher Prize.

Highlights of the 2019/20 season include a European summer festivals tour with the Vienna Philharmonic and long-time collaborative partner Bernard Haitink, an Asian tour with the London Symphony and Sir Simon Rattle, US concerts with the Rotterdam Philharmonic and Lahav Shani in addition to three concerts with regular partners Leonidas Kavakos and Yo-Yo Ma at Carnegie Hall in March 2020. Further participation in Carnegie Hall’s celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday will culminate in a solo recital in May preceded by recitals in Madison, Santa Barbara, Orange County, Washington, Las Vegas and Colorado Springs. With orchestra he can be heard in Houston, Baltimore, Atlanta, San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Montreal, Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Indianapolis. In Europe he can be heard with orchestras in London, Frankfurt, Berlin, Rome, Zurich, Rotterdam and Tel Aviv.

Always a committed exponent of contemporary composers, with works written for him by John Adams, Christopher Rouse, Krzysztof Penderecki, Bright Sheng, and Melinda Wagner already in his repertoire, most recently he has added HK Gruber’s Piano Concerto and Samuel Adams’ “Impromptus”.

A Sony Classical exclusive recording artist since 1987, recent releases include Mendelssohn Trios with Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman, Strauss’ Enoch Arden narrated by Patrick Stewart, and discs of two-piano music by Brahms and Rachmaninoff with Yefim Bronfman. In 2015 Deutche Grammophon released a duo recording with Mr. Perlman of Sonatas by Faure and Strauss, which the two artists presented on tour during the 2015/2016 season. Mr. Ax 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. His other recordings include the concertos of Liszt and Schoenberg, three solo Brahms albums, an album of tangos by Astor Piazzolla, and the premiere recording of John Adams’s Century Rolls with the Cleveland Orchestra for Nonesuch. In the 2004/05 season Mr. Ax also 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).

A frequent and committed partner for chamber music, he has worked regularly with such artists as Young Uck Kim, Cho-Liang Lin, Mr. Ma, Edgar Meyer, Peter Serkin, Jaime Laredo, and the late Isaac Stern.

Mr. Ax resides in New York City with his wife, pianist Yoko Nozaki. They have two children together, Joseph and Sarah. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and holds honorary doctorates of music from Skidmore College, Yale University, and Columbia University.

Next Concerts

    December 6, 2019

    Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra – Chamber Music

    De Doelen, Rotterdam 

    Bruno Bonansea, clarinet
    Marieke Blankenstijn, violin
    Emanuel Ax and Lahav Shani, piano

    BARTOK: Romanian Folk Dances for piano and violin
    BARTOK: Contrasts for violin, clarinet and piano, BB.116, Sz.111
    BRAHMS: Haydn Variations Op. 56b

    December 6, 2019

    Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra

    De Doelen, Rotterdam

    with Lahav Shani, conductor

    BRAHMS: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15

    December 7, 2019

    Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra

    Het Concertgebouw, Amsterdam

    with Lahav Shani, conductor

    BRAHMS: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15

    December 8, 2019

    Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra

    De Doelen, Rotterdam

    with Lahav Shani, conductor

    BRAHMS: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15

    December 12, 2019

    Hessischer Rundfunk

    Alte Oper Frankfurt

    with David Afkham, conductor

    MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K466

     

    December 13, 2019

    Hessischer Rundfunk

    Alte Oper Frankfurt

    with David Afkham, conductor

    MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K466

    December 16, 2019

    Kansas City Symphony

    Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

    Michael Stern, conductor
    Yo-Yo Ma, cello
    Pamela Frank, violin
    Emanuel Ax, piano

    BEETHOVEN: Concerto for Violin, Cello and Piano in C Major, Op. 56

    January 6, 2020

    Chamber Music in Napa Valley

    First United Methodist Church, Napa

    ALL-BEETHOVEN PROGRAM
    Bagatelle in A Minor, WoO 59, “Für Elise”
    Piano Sonata No. 2 in A Major, Op. 2, No. 2
    Six Variations on an Original Theme in F Major, Op. 34
    Piano Sonata No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 2, No. 1
    Five Variations on “Rule Britannia” in D Major
    Piano Sonata No. 3 in C Major, Op. 2, No. 3

NY Philharmonic

Artist-in-Residence: Emanuel Ax 2012/13.
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Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4
Brahms: Music For 2 Pianos
Haydn: Piano Sonatas
Liszt: Piano Sonata in B Minor
Mendelssohn: Piano Trios
Strauss: Enoch Arden

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Extract from masterclass given by Emanuel Ax on Beethoven Piano Sonatas and Variations. The student is Nicolas Van Poucke. The full masterclass is available on DVD from www.masterclassfoundation.org

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