Born in Lvov, Poland, Emanuel Ax moved to Canada with his family when he was a young boy. He studied at The Juilliard School and Columbia University, capturing public attention in 1974 when he won the first Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Tel Aviv. In 1975 he won the Michaels Award of Young Concert Artists and, four years later, he was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize.
Highlights of Mr. Ax's 2011-12 season include returns to the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestras; the Boston, Houston, Toronto, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Detroit, and Cincinnati symphony orchestras; and the San Francisco Symphony, where he is collaborating in the "American Mavericks" festival, which is to be repeated in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and New York's Carnegie Hall. As curator and participant with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in a two-week "Keys to the City" residency, he will perform in multiple roles in a festival that is celebrating the many varied facets of the piano and its repertoire.
Mr. Ax's European appearances this season include returns to the Berlin Philharmonic, Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and the Orchestre National de France. Recent tours have included the New York Philharmonic's Asian Horizons tour — the Orchestra's first with Alan Gilbert as Music Director — and with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in Europe.
Emanuel Ax has been an exclusive Sony Classical recording artist since 1987. He received Grammy Awards for the second and third volumes of his cycle of Haydn piano sonatas, and made a series of Grammy Award-winning recordings of the Beethoven and Brahms sonatas for cello and piano with Yo-Yo Ma. Mr. Ax resides in New York City with his wife, pianist Yoko Nozaki. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and holds honorary doctorates of music from Yale and Columbia Universities. In May 2011 the New York Philharmonic named him an Honorary Member of the Society on the occasion of his 100th performance with the Orchestra.