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Review: Houston Symphony stages a different ‘Spring’

MAY 21, 2018

The Houston Symphony brought its 2017-18 subscription season to a close this past weekend with a program that offered a study in contrasts.

As heard in Jones Hall, the program offered a star guest soloist in two works by Mozart in a purist, traditional approach to performing classical music. But after the intermission, the shattering innovation of Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” inspired the Houston Symphony to try some innovating of its own by way of employing multimedia to reinterpret Stravinsky’s audacious score. While the two approaches to performance were dramatically disparate, each proved apt for the works they sought to illuminate. Read more …

A Lullaby, a Caress: Yo-Yo Ma, Ax and Kavakos on Brahms

FEBRUARY 21, 2018

Classical superstars have long come together to form chamber groups, and there is a particularly distinguished tradition of doing that for Brahms’s piano trios. Just scan the internet for Artur Rubinstein, Jascha Heifetz and Emanuel Feuermann, say, or Myra Hess, Isaac Stern and Pablo Casals. Sometimes celebrity players struggle to curb their egos for the intimacy of group work — but when they do, the results can be stunning. Read more …

Prom 74: Ax, Vienna Philharmonic, Tilson Thomas review – elegance without passion



“I don’t know for sure, but I’m guessing that Emanuel Ax (pictured below) and Michael Tilson Thomas are long-time collaborators. An intuitive sense of communication between the two was evident throughout the Mozart 14th Piano Concerto, allowing the pianist to make some dramatic tempo and dynamic changes, at a moment’s notice, knowing that the orchestra would always keep step. Read more …

SSO with Emanuel Ax: mastery coupled with humanity

By Bernard Jacobson | The Seattle Times

When Emanuel Ax plays Brahms’ Second Piano Concerto, any participating orchestra’s principal cellist can expect to be accorded an equal place in the spotlight. It was heartwarming, at Benaroya Hall on Thursday evening, to observe the pianist’s insistent inclusion of Efe Baltacigil in his acceptance of the audience’s plaudits. Read more …

John Adams’ ‘Absolute Jest’ in San Francisco

By Mark Swed | Los Angeles Times

When John Adams was a young composer and conductor in San Francisco in the early ’70s, he would often perform the experimental music of John Cage and other radicals, which was the hip thing to do at the time. But he has said that all that avant-garde business could leave him musically dissatisfied, and he’d go home and put on recordings of late Beethoven string quartets.
Read more …

Next Concerts

    October 20, 2018

    Duke Performances

    Baldwin Auditorium

    Durham, NC

    BACH: Partita No. 1 in B-flat Major, BWV 825
    SCHOENBERG: Six Little Piano Pieces, op. 19
    SCHUMANN: Fantasiestücke, op. 12
    RAVEL: Valses nobles et sentimentales
    CHOPIN: Andante spianato et grande polonaise brillante, op. 22
    CHOPIN: Three Mazurkas, op. 59

    October 23, 2018

    Charleston Gaillard Center

    Gaillard Center

    Charleston, SC


    October 25, 2018

    Civic Music Association of Des Moines

    Sheslow Auditorium

    Des Moines, IA

    BACH: Partita No. 1 in B flat
    SCHOENBERG: Piano Pieces Op. 19
    SCHUMANN: Fantasiestuecke
    RAVEL: Valses Nobles et Sentimentales
    CHOPIN: 3 Mazurkas, Andante Spianato

    October 28, 2018

    Celebrity Series of Boston

    Symphony Hall

    Boston, MA

    BACH: Partita No. 1 in B-flat Major, BWV825
    SCHOENBERG: Six Little Piano Pieces, Opus 19
    SCHUMANN: Fantasiestücke, Opus 12
    RAVEL: Valses Nobles et Sentimentales
    CHOPIN: Mazurkas TBD
    CHOPIN: Andante Spianato and Grand Polonaise Brillante, Opus 22

    November 3, 2018

    New World Symphony

    Adrienne Arsht Center

    Miami, FL

    WAGNER: Overture to The Flying Dutchman
    BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 1
    SIBELIUS: Symphony No. 5

    November 9, 2018

    Detroit Symphony

    Orchestra Hall

    Detroit, MI

    BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 1
    NORMAN: Play

    November 10, 2018

    Detroit Symphony

    Orchestra Hall

    Detroit, MI

    BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 1
    NORMAN: Play

    November 15, 2018

    The Cleveland Orchestra

    Severance Hall

    Cleveland, OH

    KABELÁČ – Mystery of Time
    STRAVINSKY – Capriccio (for piano and orchestra)
    SHOSTAKOVICH – Symphony No. 5

NY Philharmonic

Artist-in-Residence: Emanuel Ax 2012/13.
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Audio Player

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


Video Player

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