Born in Lvov, Poland, Emanuel Ax moved to Canada with his family when he was a young boy. He studied at the Juilliard School and Columbia University, capturing 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 Avery Fisher Prize.
Mr. Ax’s 2013-14 season begins with appearances at the Barbican Centre followed by Lincoln Center with the London Symphony Orchestra, as well as collaborations with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Mariss Jansons in Amsterdam, Bucharest, China, and Japan during the ensemble’s 125th anniversary celebration. The second half of the season sees the realization of Mr. Ax’s Brahms project, which includes new Brahms-inspired pieces from composers Missy Mazzoli, Nico Muhly, Brett Dean, and Anders Hillborg, jointly commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cal Performances, the Chicago Symphony, and Carnegie Hall, and collaborations with Anne-Sofie von Otter and Yo-Yo Ma. To conclude the season, Mr. Ax will travel to Hong Kong and Australia for a complete cycle of Beethoven concertos with David Robertson in Sydney and Andrew Davis in Melbourne. In the 2012-13 season Mr. Ax served as artist-in-residence with the New York Philharmonic and joined that orchestra on their European tour. He also returned to the orchestras of Los Angeles, Saint Louis, Atlanta, Detroit, Washington, and Pittsburgh. Mr. Ax made his San Francisco Symphony debut in 1979 and appeared here most recently in 2012.
An exclusive Sony Classical recording artist since 1987, Mr. Ax’s most recent release is Variations, featuring works of Haydn, Beethoven, Schumann, and Copland. He has received Grammy awards for the second and third volumes of his cycle of Haydn’s piano sonatas and has also made a series of Grammy-winning recordings with Yo-Yo Ma of the Beethoven and Brahms sonatas for cello and piano. In 2011, Mr. Ax’s recording of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony was released on SFS Media. Mr. Ax resides in New York City with his wife, pianist Yoko Nozaki. 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, visit EmanuelAx.com.