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GARRICK OHLSSON, a native of White Plains, New York, began his piano studies at the age of eight. He attended the Westchester Conservatory of Music and entered the Juilliard School Preparatory Division at the age of thirteen. He has studied with a succession of distinguished teachers, including Claudio Arrau, Olga Barabini, Tom Lishman, Sascha Gorodnitzki, Rosina Lhévinne, and Irma Wolpe. He won first prizes at the 1966 Busoni Competition in Italy and the 1968 Montréal Piano Competition, and in 1970 he won the gold medal at the Chopin Competition in Warsaw.
Ever since his debut with the San Francisco Symphony in 1972, Ohlsson has been a frequent guest with the orchestra. He has appeared with most major orchestras throughout North America and Europe, and his recital projects have included Chopin cycles, programs devoted to the Beethoven piano sonatas, and the piano music of Scriabin and Russian contemporaries. Ohlsson has collaborated with the Cleveland, Emerson, and Tokyo string quartets, and together with former SFS Concertmaster Jorja Fleezanis and SFS Principal Cellist Michael Grebanier is a founding member of the FOG Trio. He has recorded the complete piano works of Chopin for Arabesque, as well as Haydn’s “London” sonatas and the complete sonatas of Carl Maria von Weber. He has made three recordings with the San Francisco Symphony, including the Copland Piano Concerto and Gershwin’s Concerto in F, both with Michael Tilson Thomas conducting (RCA Red Seal), and Charles Wuorinen’s Piano Concerto No. 3 (a work written for him) under Herbert Blomstedt’s direction (Nonesuch). He received Grammy nominations for recordings of the Busoni Concerto with the Cleveland Orchestra (Telarc) and Henri Lazarof’s Tableaux for Piano and Orchestra with the Seattle Symphony (now available on Naxos). He is recording all the Beethoven sonatas for Bridge Records.
Ohlsson was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize in 1994 and the University Musical Society Distinguished Artist Award in Ann Arbor in 1998. He lives in San Francisco.