Born to Polish parents in what is today Lviv, Ukraine, Emanuel Ax moved to Winnipeg, Canada, with his family when he was a young boy. Mr. Ax made his New York debut in the Young Concert Artists Series, and in 1974 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 Avery Fisher Prize.
In fall 2021 he resumed a post-COVID touring schedule that included concerts with the Colorado, Pacific, Cincinnati and Houston symphonies as well as Minnesota, Los Angeles, New York Philadelphia and Cleveland orchestras. 2022/23 will include a tour with Itzhak Perlman “and Friends” and a continuation of the “Beethoven For 3” touring and recording project with partners Leonidas Kavakos and Yo-Yo Ma, this year on the west coast.
In recital he can be heard in Palm Beach, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Chicago, Washington DC, Houston, Las Vegas and New York and with orchestras in Atlanta, Detroit, Boston, San Francisco, San Diego, New York, Naples, Portland OR, Toronto, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Touring in Europe in the fall and spring includes concerts in Germany, UK, Switzerland and France.
Mr. Ax has been a Sony Classical exclusive recording artist since 1987 and following the success of the Brahms Trios with Kavakos and Ma, the trio launched an ambitious, multi-year project to record all the Beethoven Trios and Symphonies arranged for trio of which the first two discs have recently been released. He has received GRAMMY® Awards for the second and third volumes of his cycle of Haydn’s piano sonatas. He has also made a series of Grammy-winning recordings with cellist Yo-Yo Ma of the Beethoven and Brahms sonatas for cello and piano. In the 2004/05 season Mr. Ax contributed to an International EMMY® Award-Winning BBC documentary commemorating the Holocaust that aired on the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. In 2013, Mr. Ax’s recording Variations received the Echo Klassik Award for Solo Recording of the Year (19th Century Music/Piano).
Mr. Ax is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and holds honorary doctorates of music from Skidmore College, New England Conservatory of Music, Yale University, and Columbia University.