Visit this artist's website: http://www.EmanuelAx.com
Born in 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. Ax 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 2011/12 season include return visits to the orchestras of Boston, Houston, Toronto, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Detroit, and Cincinnati; the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics; and the San Francisco Symphony, with whom he will collaborate in the “American Mavericks” festival presented in San Francisco, Ann Arbor, MI, and Carnegie Hall, NY.
As curator and participant with the Chicago Symphony for a two-week spring residency – “Keys to the City” – he will perform in multiple roles as leader in a festival celebrating the many varied facets of the piano.
In Europe the season includes return visits to the Berlin Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, Bayerischer Rundfunk, London Philharmonic, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and the Orchestre National de France under the batons of Sir Simon Rattle, Mariss Jansons, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Vladimir Jurowski, Bernard Haitink, and Sir Colin Davis; in London’s Wigmore Hall he performs a series of Beethoven Sonata programs with violinist Leonidas Kavakos.
In recognition of the bicentenaries of Chopin and Schumann in 2010 and in partnership with London’s Barbican, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, New York’s Carnegie Hall, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the San Francisco Symphony, Emanuel Ax commissioned new works from composers Thomas Adès, Peter Lieberson, and Stephen Prutsman for three recital programs presented in each of those cities with colleagues Yo-Yo Ma and Dawn Upshaw. In addition to this large-scale project, recent tours included performances in Asia with the New York Philharmonic on their first tour with Music Director Alan Gilbert and European tours with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and James Conlon as well as the Pittsburgh Symphony with Manfred Honeck. As a regular visitor in subscription concerts he returned to Chicago, Philadelphia, and Boston during the spring.
Ax has been an exclusive Sony Classical 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. 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’ Century Rolls with the Cleveland Orchestra for Nonesuch. In the 2004/05 season Ax also contributed to an International Emmy-winning BBC documentary commemorating the Holocaust that aired on the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
In recent years, Emanuel Ax has turned his attention toward the music of 20th-century composers, premiering works by John Adams, Christopher Rouse, Krzysztof Penderecki, Bright Sheng, and Melinda Wagner. He is also devoted to chamber music, and 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.
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 Yale and Columbia Universities. For more information about his career, please visit EmanuelAx.com.