Born in Lvov, Poland, Emanuel Ax moved to Winnipeg, 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 coveted Avery Fisher Prize.
Highlights of the current season include return visits to the orchestras of Cleveland, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Atlanta and Toronto as well as a number of recitals culminating in a series of three at Lincoln Center focused on the music of Schubert. In recognition of the bicentenaries of Chopin and Schumann in 2010 and in partnership with London’s Barbican, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the San Francisco Symphony, Mr. Ax commissioned new works from composers Thomas Adés, Peter Lieberson and Stephen Prutsman for three recital programs presented in each of those cities with colleagues Yo-Yo Ma and Dawn Upshaw. His collaboration with Mark Morris Dance Group continued during summer 2009 partnered with Yo-Yo Ma in a dance work jointly commissioned by the Tanglewood and Mostly Mozart festivals.
In addition to this large-scale project, recent tours included performances in Asia with the New York Philharmonic on their first tour with Music Director Alan Gilbert and European tours with both the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and James Conlon as well as the Pittsburgh Symphony with Manfred Honeck. As a regular visitor in subscription concerts he returned to Chicago, Philadelphia and Boston during the spring.
Mr. Ax has been an exclusive Sony Classical recording artist since 1987. 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 Ma of the Beethoven and Brahms sonatas for cello and piano. Mr. Ax resides in New York City with his wife, pianist Yoko Nozaki, and their 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.