One of the 20th century's most highly regarded pianists. Emanuel Ax has performed all over the United States and in Europe. His repertoire includes chamber music literature such as Bela Bartok, Schoenberg and Mozart. He regularly performs concerts and recitals with Yo-Yo Ma and Yong Uck Kim.
Emanuel Ax was born in Lvov, Poland in 1949. His love for the piano began at the age of six when he began taking lessons in Warsaw. He and his family moved to North America in 1961 where he continued his piano lessons. At the Juilliard School of Music in New York, Emanuel Ax studied with Mieczylaw Munz. He made his professional debut recital in 1973. In 1974 Emanuel Ax earned international fame when he won the first Arthur Rubenstein International Competition in Israel. From this one competition came a lifetime of notoriety as a pianist.
After numerous recitals and performances all over the world and playing in London in 1977, Emanuel Ax traveled back to New York to win the Avery Fisher Prize for Music in 1979. He regularly performs with the Boston, New York, London, Cleveland and Philadelphia Symphony Orchestras. Aside from these concerts and recitals, Emanuel Ax performs at festivals, including Ravinia, Aspen, Hollywood Bowl and Tanglewood. In 1994 he played Mozart's D Minor at the London Proms.
Emanuel Ax has signed an exclusive contract with the Sony Classical label. The partnership began in 1987. He has recorded two Liszt Concertos, a Schoenberg Concerto and two discs of Brahm's works. Haydn Piano Sonatas, a work he plan to elaborate on, won him a Grammy Award. Emanuel Ax plans on recording further works of Brahms including the Second Concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Bernard Haitink.
While touring in Europe during the 1996-97 season, Emanuel Ax played Hans Werner Henze's Tristan, conducted by Kurt Masur, for the composer's 70th birthday. His concert tours have been a major part of his international recognition including concerts with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Cologne Radio Orchestra, the European Union Youth Orchestra and the Berlin Festival Orchestra. During his musical career, he has worked with such conductors as Simon Rattle, Donald Runnicles and Leonard Slatkin.
Aside from numerous concert and recital appearances during a season, Emanuel Ax still finds time to record with his colleagues. He performs often with cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Together the two have earned three Grammy Awards. Playing for more than two decades, the two celebrated their 20th anniversary with a recital at Carnegie Hall. He performed the works of Brahms with Yo-Yo Ma and Richard Stolzman, which also earned them a Grammy. With Isaac Stern, Jaime Laredo and Yo-Yo Ma he has toured the United States performing works by Brahms, Faure, Beethoven and Mozart.
Emanuel Ax spends a great deal of his time performing concerts and recitals. A renowned pianist at the age of 25, Emanuel Ax's popularity as classical pianist has only increased. He resides in New York with his wife and children. ~ Kim Summers