Emanuel Ax (born 8 June 1949) is a Grammy-winning American classical
pianist. He is a teacher on the faculty of the Juilliard School.
1 Early life
2 Musical style
3 Personal life
4 Awards and recognitions
5 See also
7 External links
Ax was born to a Polish-Jewish family in Lviv, Ukraine, (in what
was then the Soviet Union) to Joachim and Hellen Ax. Both parents were
Nazi concentration camp survivors. Ax began to study piano at the age
of six; his father was his first piano teacher. When he was seven the
family moved to Warsaw,
Poland (where he studied piano playing at
Miodowa school) and then two years later to Winnipeg, Manitoba, 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. In 1973 he won the Young Concert
Artists International Auditions.
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 Michael Tippett,
Hans Werner Henze,
Joseph Schwantner and Paul Hindemith, as well as
more traditional composers such as Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and
Ax has been the main duo recital partner of cellist
Yo-Yo Ma since
August 3, 1973 when the pair performed its first public recital at the
Marlboro Music School and Festival. They have recorded much of the
cello/piano repertoire together. Ax also played quartets briefly with
Ma and violinists
Isaac Stern and Jaime Laredo. Before the quartet
disbanded 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
In 1997, Ax was the Music Director of the Ojai Music Festival
alongside the conductor Daniel Harding.
He holds honorary doctorates of music from Yale University (awarded
in May 2007) and Columbia University. He is a recipient of Yale
University's Sanford Medal.
Ax lives in
New York City
New York City with his wife, pianist Yoko Nozaki, and has
two children, Joey and Sarah. He continues to speak fluent Polish
and uses it with his family at home.
He co-constructed the April 19, 2017 New York Times Crossword Puzzle
Awards and recognitions
Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Tel
Avery Fisher Prize in New York City
2007 - Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Echo Klassik Award for Solo Recording of the Year (19th century
music/Piano) for his Variations recording of works by Beethoven, Haydn
Award of Excellence, The International Center in New York
Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance:
Emanuel Ax and
Yo-Yo Ma for Brahms: Cello and Piano Sonatas in E Minor
and F (1986)
Emanuel Ax and
Yo-Yo Ma for Beethoven: Cello and Piano Sonata No. 4 in
C & Variations (1987)
Emanuel Ax, Jaime Laredo,
Yo-Yo Ma and
Isaac Stern for Brahms: Piano
(Op. 25 and 26) (1992)
Emanuel Ax and
Yo-Yo Ma for Brahms: Sonatas for Cello & Piano
Yo-Yo Ma and
Richard Stoltzman for
Brahms/Beethoven/Mozart: Clarinet Trios (1996)
Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without
Emanuel Ax for Haydn: Piano Sonatas, Nos. 32, 47, 53, 59 (1995)
Emanuel Ax for Haydn: Piano Sonatas Nos. 29, 31, 34, 35 & 49
List of Poles
^ "Emanuel Ax". The Juilliard School. Retrieved February 27,
^ Kaminski, Bartosz (2001-01-08). "Emanuel Ax: nie miałem talentu do
gry na fortepianie" [Emanuel Ax: I had no talent for playing the
Gazeta Wyborcza (in Polish). Archived from the original on May
^ a b "
Emanuel Ax performs Beethoven, Schoenberg, and Chopin Feb. 6".
Yale School of Music. January 24, 2013. Mr. Ax is a Fellow of the
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
American Academy of Arts and Sciences and holds honorary doctorates of
music from Yale and Columbia Universities.
^ "Yale Honorary Degree Recipients". Yale University. Archived from
the original on May 21, 2015. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
^ "Tokyo Quartet, Peter Oundjian receive Sanford Medals". Yale School
of Music, Yale University. January 23, 2013. Previous recipients of
Sanford Medal include Georg Solti, Pierre Boulez, Aaron Copland,
Virgil Thomson, Mstislav Rostropovich, Sherrill Milnes, Marilyn Horne,
Emanuel Ax, and Richard Stoltzman.
^ Rowes, Barbara (August 9, 1982). "Hailed as the Next Rubinstein,
Emanuel Ax Cuts An Ample Figure in the Classical Music World". People.
^ "Backstage with Peter Oundjian". YouTube. Toronto Symphony
Orchestra. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
^ "A" (PDF). Members of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences:
1780-2010. American Academy of Arts and Sciences. p. 22.
Retrieved 28 April 2011.
Discography at SonyBMG Masterworks
Emanuel Ax and Tom Kornberg: Beethoven’s Cello Sonata No. 3 in A
major, 1st movement
David Dubal interview with
Emanuel Ax on YouTube, WNCN-FM, April 16,
ISNI: 0000 0001 2100 384X
BNF: cb138909965 (data)