Emanuel Ax © Lois Greenfield
The American pianist Emanuel Ax was born in 1949 to Polish parents in Lviv, Ukraine, where he took his first piano lessons at the age of six from his father. Following a stopover in Warsaw, the family moved to Winnipeg in Canada in 1959 and then to New York City in 1961. It was there that Ax continued his training with Mieczysław Munz at the Juilliard School. He won the Young Concert Artists Auditions in 1973 and the Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv a year later; in 1979 he was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize. Since then, throughout an international career that has spanned four decades, Ax has performed with such renowned ensembles as the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, the Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Staatskapelle Dresden. His calendar for the 2019-20 season includes engagements with the New York, Los Angeles, and Rotterdam Philharmonics and the London and San Francisco Symphonies. In addition to his appearances as a soloist, chamber music plays an important role for Ax. He formerly collaborated with Isaac Stern in a duo and nowadays performs with Yo-Yo Ma and Leonidas Kavakos, with whom he most recently released accounts of the Brahms Piano Trios. Emanuel Ax’s repertoire encompasses not only the most significant works of the Classical and Romantic periods but also numerous contemporary compositions written specifically for him, such as HK Gruber’s Piano Concerto, which he premiered with the New York Philharmonic in 2017. Emanuel Ax has received the Grammy Award no fewer than seven times: one each for two installments of his recordings of the Haydn sonatas and five for various chamber music releases with Yo-Yo Ma. Emanuel Ax is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and holds honorary doctorates from both Yale and Columbia Universities.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 7 September 1986 in a chamber music evening with Young Uck Kim and Yo-Yo Ma.