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 made his San Francisco Symphony debut in 1979 and appeared here most recently in 2017.
Mr. Ax regularly collaborates with living composers, having performed works written for him by John Adams, Christopher Rouse, Krzysztof Penderecki, Bright Sheng, and Melinda Wagner. The 2017-18 season sees Mr. Ax performing six Mozart concertos over two weeks in Saint Louis, repeating the project in Sydney in February. He returns to the orchestras of Philadelphia, Cleveland, New York, Boston, Houston, Ottawa, Toronto, Indianapolis, and Pittsburgh, and to Carnegie Hall for a recital to conclude the season. In Europe he can be heard in Stockholm, Vienna, Paris, London, and on tour with the Budapest Festival Orchestra. In support of the recent release of their disc of Brahms trios for Sony, Mr. Ax will also tour across the US with Leonidas Kavakos and Yo-Yo Ma.
An exclusive Sony Classical recording artist since 1987, Mr. Ax’s recent releases include Mendelssohn Trios with Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman, R. Strauss's Enoch Arden narrated by Patrick Stewart, and discs of two-piano music by Brahms and Rachmaninoff with Yefim Bronfman. Other releases include the ECHO Klassik award-winning album Variations, featuring works of Haydn, Beethoven, Schumann, and Copland, a series of Grammy-winning recordings with Mr. Ma of the Beethoven and Brahms sonatas for cello and piano, the concertos of Liszt and Schoenberg, three solo Brahms albums, an album of tangos by Astor Piazzolla, and the premiere recording of John Adams's Century Rolls with the Cleveland Orchestra for Nonesuch. Mr. Ax has received Grammy awards for the second and third volumes of his cycle of Haydn’s piano sonatas. With Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, Mr. Ax has recorded discs of Beethoven's Piano Concertos Nos. 3 and 4 for SFS Media.
Mr. Ax resides in New York City with his wife, pianist Yoko Nozaki, with whom he has two children. 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.