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Emanuel Ax


About this Artist

Born in modern-day Lviv, Ukraine, Emanuel Ax moved to Winnipeg, Canada, with his family when he was a young boy. He made his New York debut in the Young Concert Artists Series and, in 1974, 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 Avery Fisher Prize.

Highlights of his 2019/20 season included 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, and three concerts with regular partners Leonidas Kavakos and Yo-Yo Ma at Carnegie Hall in March 2020.

Additional recitals and orchestral appearances last spring were postponed due to COVID-19, and like many artists around the world, Emanuel Ax responded to these unprecedented circumstances creatively. He hosted “The Legacy of Great Pianists,” part of the online Live with Carnegie Hall highlighting legendary pianists who have performed at Carnegie Hall. Last September, he joined cellist Yo-Yo Ma in a series of surprise pop-up concerts for essential workers in multiple venues throughout the Berkshires community. With the resumption of concert activity this summer, he appeared in the reopening weekend of Tanglewood both with the Boston Symphony and in a Beethoven trio program with partners Leonidas Kavakos and Yo-Yo Ma. Concerts with the Colorado, Pacific, Cincinnati, and Houston symphonies. Appearances with the Minnesota, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, and Cleveland orchestras follow throughout the 2021/22 season.

Emanuel Ax has been a Sony Classical exclusive recording artist since 1987, his most recent release being the Brahms Trios with Yo-Yo Ma and Leonidas Kavakos. He 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. In the 2004/05 season, Ax also contributed to an Emmy® Award-winning BBC documentary commemorating the Holocaust that aired on the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. In 2013, his recording Variations received the Echo Klassik Award for Solo Recording of the Year (19th-century music/Piano).

Emanuel Ax is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and holds honorary doctorates from Skidmore College, New England Conservatory of Music, Yale University, and Columbia University. For more information, please visit