Acclaimed pianist Emanuel Ax performs an all-Schubert recital in a Great Performers Series event on February 1 at the National Arts Centre

In the second Great Performers Series event of the NAC’s 2010-2011 season, internationally acclaimed pianist Emanuel Ax performs in a highly anticipated recital (without orchestra) in Southam Hall of the National Arts Centre on Tuesday February 1 at 8 p.m. The New York Times has written that “Ax is never less than spellbinding.”

In September 2010, Emanuel Ax performed two works by Mozart (with the National Arts Centre Orchestra) to an ecstatic sold-out audience as part of the NAC’s popular Mozart-Haydn Festival. His piano performances were absolutely thrilling, and in post-concert conversation with CBC’s Bill Richardson and Pinchas Zukerman, Mr. Ax’s warmth, wit, and ebullient personality charmed the audience beyond measure.

The program for the evening includes:
SCHUBERT         Four Impromptus, D. 935, Op. 142
SCHUBERT         Sonata in A major, D. 664, Op. 120
SCHUBERT         Sonata in B-flat major, D. 960

Emanuel Ax is renowned not only for his poetic temperament and unsurpassed virtuosity, but also for the exceptional breadth of his performing activities. In this concert, the esteemed keyboard artist turns his artistry to three of Franz Schubert’s piano works, including the lyrical, enchanting Sonata in A major and his late great masterpiece, the B-flat major Sonata. The latter sonata – lauded for its sublime beauty -- is widely regarded as a landmark in the history of musical achievements. These sonatas were among the composer's last major compositions for the piano. Written in 1828 during the last months of Schubert's life, they were not published until a decade after his death and were mostly neglected during the entire 19th century. Now, in contrast, they are praised for spontaneous melody, rich harmonies, rhythmic vitality, and a rare depth of emotional expression, placing them decisively among the most important of Schubert’s late compositions.

Ax’s technique was effortless – real pianissimos, perfectly poised trills, a completely idiomatic first-movement cadenza, and soft-as-silk legato …
San Francisco Classical Voice

Born in Poland, Emanuel Ax moved to Winnipeg with his family as a young boy. He studied at The Juilliard School and captured public attention in 1974 when he won the first Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition. In 1979 he won the coveted Avery Fisher Prize and began appearing to great acclaim on concert stages around the world. In recent years, Mr. Ax has premiered works by John Adams, Krzysztof Penderecki, and Melinda Wagner. He has also worked regularly with such artists as Yo-Yo Ma, Jaime Laredo and the late Isaac Stern. Emanuel Ax has been an exclusive Sony Classical recording artist since 1987 and has received Grammy awards for the second and third volumes of his cycle of Haydn’s piano sonatas. Mr. Ax resides in New York City with his wife, pianist Yoko Nozaki; they have two children. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and holds honorary doctorates of music from Yale and Columbia Universities.

Emanuel Ax performs in recital in Southam Hall of the National Arts Centre on Tuesday February 1 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20.45, $31.21, $42.51, $49.50, $53.81, $64.57, and $75.33 for adults and $11.38, $16.76, $22.41, $25.91, $28.06, $33.44, and $38.82 for students (upon presentation of a valid student ID card). Tickets are available at the NAC Box Office (in person) and through Ticketmaster (with surcharges) at 613-755-1111; Ticketmaster may also be accessed through the NAC’s website

Subject to availability, full-time students (aged 13-29) with valid Live Rush™ membership (free registration at may buy up to 2 tickets per performance at the discount price of $12 per ticket. Tickets are available online ( or at the NAC box office from 10 a.m. on the day before the performance until 6 p.m. on the day of the show or 2 hours before a matinee. Groups of 10 or more save 15% to 20% off regular ticket prices to all NAC Music, Theatre and Dance performances; to reserve your seats, call 613-947-7000, ext. 634 or e-mail

Our latest web offering -- coming soon -- NACmusicbox TIMELINE  200 orchestral works, 80 Canadian compositions, 1 interactive TIMELINE. Explore unlimited music connections and discover Canada's contribution to orchestral history. The interactive TIMELINE includes the addition of 65 Canadian works thanks to financial investment by the Virtual Museum of Canada at the Department of Canadian Heritage. We also acknowledge our partner CBC Radio 2 for providing broadcast-quality recordings of the NAC Orchestra’s archival performances.

For additional information, visit the NAC website at

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Gerald Morris
Communications Officer, NAC Music
613-947-7000, ext. 335  


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