Emanuel Ax

Biography

Born: June 8, 1949  
From a string of early career successes in the 1970s, Emanuel Ax has emerged as one of the most versatile, brilliant, and universally respected pianists on the international concert scene.

Ax's father was a coach at the Lwow Opera House. Emanuel's talent and interest in music manifested itself early; his first instrument was actually the violin, though he eventually took up piano lessons with his father. After living for a time in
Read more Warsaw, then Winnipeg, Canada, the family moved to the United States in 1961, and Ax began studies with Mieczyslaw Munz at the Juilliard School. He made his first concert tour, to South Africa, in 1969; in the following year he became an American citizen.

Ax is the rare musician who was able to parlay exposure via the competition circuit into a lasting and truly successful international career. After disappointing finishes in high-profile events like the Chopin Competition and the Queen Elizabeth Competition, Ax withdrew from competing for a time to make his New York debut, at Alice Tully Hall, on March 12, 1973. In the following year, he at last took top prize in an event of some importance, the Rubinstein Piano Master Competition. It was with this success -- which included an American concert tour -- that Ax's star began to rise toward international superstardom. In 1979 he was awarded the coveted Avery Fisher Prize, which led to a recording contract with RCA Victor.

As a soloist Ax has demonstrated a particular affinity for the Romantics; nonetheless, his repertoire is among the most diverse of any pianist on the scene today and ranges from the music of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven to important twentieth century figures like Tippett, Henze, and Hindemith. He is also a particular champion of contemporary music, and has played and commissioned works from such composers as Joseph Schwantner, John Adams, and Christopher Rouse. He is considered by players and audiences alike to be a chamber musician par excellence; his frequent partners in this endeavor include Isaac Stern, Jaime Laredo, and Richard Stolzman. His regular collaborations with cellist Yo-Yo Ma have netted the pair three Grammy Awards. Ax has also demonstrated an interest in "authentic" performance; he recorded the Chopin concerti on an 1853 Erard piano very similar to Chopin's own instrument. Ax maintains a busy recording and recital schedule and frequently appears with the world's leading orchestras and at the major music festivals. He resides with his wife, pianist Yoko Nozaki, and their two children in New York City. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 89 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    The Art of Itzhak Perlman
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 518338 Release Date: 05/06/2016   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Antonín Dvorák,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Itzhak Perlman,  John Williams,  Pinchas Zukerman  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Juilliard String Quartet
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  • 2.
    Europakonzert: 25 DVD Anniversary Box (1991-2015) / Berliner Philharmoniker
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 26098 Release Date: 04/29/2016  
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Leonidas Kavakos,  Mikhail Pletnev,  Violeta Urmana,  Elke Wilm Schulte  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Pierre Boulez,  Gustavo Dudamel,  Claudio Abbado  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Swedish Radio Choir,  Eric Ericson Chamber Choir
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  • 3.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3; Mass in C Major / Thomas, Ax, San Francisco Symphony
    Label: Sfs   Catalog: 64 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Shenyang Baritone] [Bass,  William Burden,  Joelle Harvey,  Emanuel Ax  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael T. Thomas
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  • 4.
    Yo-Yo Ma: The Classical Cello Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 513074 Release Date: 10/02/2015   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Luigi Boccherini,  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Ton Koopman,  Emanuel Ax,  Edgar Meyer  ... 
    Conductor:  Ton Koopman,  Claudio Abbado,  Kurt Masur,  Lorin Maazel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  ORTF National Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $47.99
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  • 5.
    Faure, Strauss: Violin Sonatas / Perlman, Ax
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002361102 Release Date: 08/28/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Emanuel Ax
    CD: $18.99
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  • 6.
    Mariss Jansons Live: The Radio Recordings, 1990-2014 [13-CDs & 1 DVD]
    Label: Rco Live   Catalog: 15002 Release Date: 06/30/2015   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Louis Andriessen,  Hector Berlioz,  Anton Bruckner,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Dmitri Sitkovetsky,  Frank Peter Zimmermann,  Ferruccio Furlanetto,  Leo van Doeselaar  ... 
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
    CD: $158.99
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  • 7.
    Isaac Stern plays Brahms
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88843061362 Release Date: 04/28/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Leonard Rose,  Eugene Istomin,  Yo-Yo Ma  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Eugene Ormandy,  Milton Katims
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
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  • 8.
    Mozart: The Piano Quartets / Ax, Stern, Ma, Laredo
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 56121 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Emanuel Ax,  Jaime Laredo,  Yo-Yo Ma
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  • 9.
    Emanuel Ax Plays Haydn
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 440182 Release Date: 08/26/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Performer:  Emanuel Ax
    Conductor:  Emanuel Ax
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Franz Liszt Academy Chamber Orchestra
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  • 10.
    James Levine Conducts Brahms
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 686042 Release Date: 08/26/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Emanuel Ax,  Kathleen Battle,  James Levine,  Hĺkan Hagegĺrd
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Chorus
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  • 11.
    Yo-Yo Ma Plays Great Cello Masterworks
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 438572 Release Date: 08/26/2014   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Edouard Lalo,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Sir William Walton  ... 
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Margaret Faultless,  Emanuel Ax
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel,  André Previn,  José L. Garcia,  Pinchas Zukerman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 12.
    Europakonzert 1999 From Krakow / Ax, Schafer, Haitink, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 13194 Release Date: 07/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Frédéric Chopin,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Christine Schäfer,  Emanuel Ax
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $29.99
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  • 13.
    Beethoven: Cello Sonata no 4, Variations / Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 55358 Release Date: 07/22/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Emanuel Ax
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 14.
    Dvorak: Piano Trios Opp 65 & 90 / Ax, Kim, Ma
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 55374 Release Date: 07/22/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  Kim Young Uck,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Emanuel Ax
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  • 15.
    Shostakovich: Trio Op 67, Cello Sonata / Ax, Stern, Ma
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 55628 Release Date: 07/22/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  Emanuel Ax,  Isaac Stern,  Yo-Yo Ma
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  • 16.
    Brahms: Piano Concerto No 2, Cello Sonata / Ax, Ma, Haitink
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 56137 Release Date: 04/22/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Emanuel Ax,  Jules Eskin,  Yo-Yo Ma
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 17.
    Chopin: Introduction & Polonaise, Cello Sonata, Trio / Ma, Frank, Ax
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 56099 Release Date: 04/22/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Pamela Frank,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Emanuel Ax,  Ewa Osinska
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 18.
    Lieberson: King Gesar / Ma, Ebrahim, Serkin, Ax
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 56117 Release Date: 04/22/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Lieberson
    Performer:  Deborah Marshall,  Peter Serkin,  Omar Ebrahim,  András Adorján  ... 
    Conductor:  Peter Lieberson
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  • 19.
    Rachmaninov, Prokofiev: Cello Sonatas / Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 55640 Release Date: 04/22/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Emanuel Ax
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 20.
    Dvorak: Piano Quartet, Romantic Pieces, Sonatina / Ax, Stern, Ma
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 56141 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  Emanuel Ax,  Jaime Laredo,  Isaac Stern,  Yo-Yo Ma  ... 
    Recommendation
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 21.
    Strauss, Britten: Cello Sonatas / Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 55632 Release Date: 10/15/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Emanuel Ax
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  • 22.
    Chopin: Ballades, Piano Sonata No 2 / Emanuel Ax
    Label: Newton Classics   Catalog: 8802189 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Emanuel Ax
    CD: $12.99
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  • 23.
    Chopin: Sonata No 3; Liszt: Piano Works / Emanuel Ax
    Label: Newton Classics   Catalog: 8802193 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Emanuel Ax
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  • 24.
    Brahms: Double Concerto; Piano Quartet, Op. 60
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 755375 Release Date: 07/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Isaac Stern,  Emanuel Ax,  Jaime Laredo
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    CD: $8.99
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  • 25.
    Tanglewood 75th Anniversary Celebration
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 713208 Release Date: 06/25/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Aaron Copland,  Leonard Bernstein,  Various,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  James Taylor,  Emanuel Ax,  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Peter Serkin
    Conductor:  Keith Lockhart,  John T. Williams,  Stefan Asbury,  Andris Nelsons  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops,  Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $24.99
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