- Emanuel Ax
Ax was born in
Lvov, Ukraine(then a constituent republic of the Soviet Union) to Joachim and Hellen Ax, both Nazi concentration campsurvivors. 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, Polandand then two years later to Winnipeg, Canadawhere he continued to study music, including as a member of The Junior Musical Club of Winnipeg. In 1961 the family moved to New York Cityand Ax continued his studies at the Juilliard Schoolunder Mieczysław Munz. In 1970 he received his B.A. in French at Columbia Universityand became an American citizen.
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 Rouseand "Red Silk Dance" by Bright Sheng. He also performs works by such diverse figures as Sir Michael Tippett, Hans Werner Henze, Joseph Schwantnerand Paul Hindemith, as well as more traditional composers such as Beethoven, Mozartand Chopin.
Ax regularly performs duo recitals with cellist
Yo-Yo Maand played quartets with Ma and violinists Isaac Sternand Jaime Laredo. Though the quartet had to disband in 2001 due to the death of Stern, they recorded works for Sonyby Brahms, Fauré, Beethoven, Schumann and Mozart. Ax is also a featured guest artist in a documentary film about the Toronto Symphony Orchestraand Peter Oundjian, "Five Days in September; the Rebirth of an Orchestra".
He lives in
New York Citywith his wife, pianist Yoko Nozaki, and has two children, Joseph and Sarah.
Awards and Recognitions
* 1974 - Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition in
* 1979 -
Avery Fisher Prizein 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 Stoltzmanfor "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)
* [http://www.emanuelax.com/ Official website]
* [http://sonybmgmasterworks.com/artists/emanuelax/ Discography at SonyBMG Masterworks]
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