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 at thirteen entered the Juilliard School. Mr. Ohlsson 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 Montreal Piano Competition, and in 1970 he won the gold medal at the Chopin Competition in Warsaw. Mr. Ohlsson made his San Francisco Symphony debut in 1972 and is a regular guest with the Orchestra.
Highlights of Mr. Ohlsson’s 2014-15 season include performances of Busoni's Piano Concerto with the National Symphony and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, as well as a series of Scriabin recitals in London, San Francisco, Chicago, and New York, in celebration of the centenary of the composer’s death. He will also return to the orchestras of Detroit, Dallas, Houston, Baltimore, Minnesota, BBC Scotland, and Prague. Mr. Ohlsson has collaborated with the Cleveland, Emerson, Takács, and Tokyo string quartets, and together with former SFS associate concertmaster Jorja Fleezanis and SFS Principal Cello Michael Grebanier he is a founding member of the FOG Trio. He has also appeared in recital with singers such as Magda Olivero, Jessye Norman, and Ewa Podleś.
Garrick Ohlsson can be heard on the Arabesque, RCA Victor Red Seal, Angel, BMG, Delos, Hänssler, Nonesuch, Telarc, and Virgin Classics labels. He released a ten-disc set of the complete Beethoven sonatas for Bridge Records; for the third installment of this series he was awarded a Grammy. Other releases for Bridge Records are Close Connections (a recital of twentieth-century pieces) and two CDs of works by Liszt. For the Hyperion label, he recorded a sixteen-disc set of the complete works of Chopin, and discs of music by Brahms, Granados, and Charles Tomlinson Griffes. Most recently, he released live recordings of both Brahms piano concertos and Tchaikovsky's Second Piano Concerto with the Melbourne and Sydney symphonies on their own labels. He is also featured in the 2010 documentary The Art of Chopin. Mr. Ohlsson was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize in 1994 and received the 1998 University Musical Society Distinguished Artist Award in Ann Arbor. He is also the 2014 recipient of the Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance from Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music. He makes his home in San Francisco.