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. He 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.
The 2023–2024 season will focus on the world premiere of Anders Hillborg’s Piano Concerto commissioned for him by the San Francisco Symphony and Esa-Pekka Salonen, with subsequent performances in Stockholm and New York. A continuation of the Beethoven for Three touring and recording project, with partners Leonidas Kavakos and Yo-Yo Ma, will take him to the U.S. Midwest in January. In recital, he can be heard on the West Coast of the U.S. in the fall, and in the Midwest and on the East Coast of the U.S. in the spring, with the tour culminating in an appearance at Carnegie Hall in April 2024. An extensive European tour will include concerts in Holland, Italy, Germany, France, and the Czech Republic.
Emanuel 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, as well as the 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. In the 2004–2005 season, he contributed to an International Emmy Award–winning BBC documentary commemorating the Holocaust that aired on the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.