Emanuel Ax

Emanuel Ax

Emanuel Ax (born June 8, 1949) is a Grammy-winning Jewish-American classical pianist.

Early life

Ax was born in Lvov, Ukraine (then a constituent republic of the Soviet Union) to Joachim and Hellen Ax, both Nazi concentration camp survivors. Ax began to study piano at the age of six; his father was his first piano teacher. When he was eight the family moved to Warsaw, Poland and then two years later to Winnipeg, Canada where he continued to study music, including as a member of The Junior Musical Club of Winnipeg. In 1961 the family moved to New York City and Ax continued his studies at the Juilliard School under Mieczysław Munz. In 1970 he received his B.A. in French at Columbia University and became an American citizen.

Musical style

Ax is a particular supporter of contemporary composers and has given three world premieres in the last few seasons; "Century Rolls" by John Adams, "Seeing" by Christopher Rouse and "Red Silk Dance" by Bright Sheng. He also performs works by such diverse figures as Sir Michael Tippett, Hans Werner Henze, Joseph Schwantner and Paul Hindemith, as well as more traditional composers such as Beethoven, Mozart and Chopin.

Ax regularly performs duo recitals with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and played quartets with Ma and violinists Isaac Stern and Jaime Laredo. Though the quartet had to disband in 2001 due to the death of Stern, they recorded works for Sony by Brahms, Fauré, Beethoven, Schumann and Mozart. Ax is also a featured guest artist in a documentary film about the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Peter Oundjian, "Five Days in September; the Rebirth of an Orchestra".

Personal life

He lives in New York City with his wife, pianist Yoko Nozaki, and has two children, Joseph and Sarah.

Awards and Recognitions

* 1974 - Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Tel Aviv
* 1979 - Avery Fisher Prize in New York
* Award of Excellence, The International Center in New York

Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance:
*Emanuel Ax & Yo-Yo Ma for "Brahms: Cello and Piano Sonatas in E Minor and F" (1986)
*Emanuel Ax & Yo-Yo Ma for "Beethoven: Cello and Piano Sonata No. 4 in C & Variations" (1987)
*Emanuel Ax, Jaime Laredo, Yo-Yo Ma & Isaac Stern for "Brahms: Piano Quartets (Op. 25 and 26)" (1992)
*Emanuel Ax & Yo-Yo Ma for "Brahms: Sonatas for Cello & Piano" (1993)
*Emanuel Ax, Yo-Yo Ma & Richard Stoltzman for "Brahms/Beethoven/Mozart: Clarinet Trios" (1996)

Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without orchestra):
*Emanuel Ax for "Haydn: Piano Sonatas, Nos. 32, 47, 53, 59" (1995)
*Emanuel Ax for "Haydn: Piano Sonatas Nos. 29, 31, 34, 35 & 49" (2004)

External links

* [http://www.emanuelax.com/ Official website]
* [http://sonybmgmasterworks.com/artists/emanuelax/ Discography at SonyBMG Masterworks]

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