Ax, Mozart & Brahms
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All concerts and events through January 5 are cancelled. Learn More about our response to Covid-19. Support the Philharmonic by donating your tickets.


Ax, Mozart & Brahms


David Geffen Hall

Price Range



2 hours with intermission

Date & Times


Nov, 2017

Thursday, 7:30 PM


Dec, 2017

Friday, 8:00 PM


Dec, 2017

Saturday, 8:00 PM

Event Info

Edo de Waart leads Brahms’s genial Second Symphony. Magnificent horn calls open the work, cascading melodies delight throughout, and the finale drives home with brass ablaze. Emanuel Ax is the soloist in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20, dramatic, reflective, and lyrical. And the Orchestra premieres music by Bent Sørensen — just awarded the distinguished Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition — whose twinkling sound world offers a new listening experience.


Bent Sørensen

Evening Land (World Premiere–New York Philharmonic Commission)



Piano Concerto No. 20



Symphony No. 2


Edo de Waart


Edo de Waart



Edo de Waart is music director of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and conductor laureate of the Antwerp Symphony, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, and Milwaukee Symphony orchestras, having concluded his tenure as music director at the latter in the 2016–17 season. He previously served as music director of the San Francisco Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, and Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and chief conductor of the Dutch National Opera.

In the 2017–18 season Mr. de Waart makes his annual appearance with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, this time leading works by Bernstein and Brahms; returns to the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra for a tour of Germany; leads the San Diego Symphony, opening the season with Jean-Yves Thibaudet and returning twice later in the season; and conducts the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. His regular guest conducting appearances include the Chicago, NHK, and Montreal symphony orchestras and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. A renowned orchestral trainer, he has a number of projects with young players at The Juilliard School and Colburn School, following his summer visit to the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara.

In the realm of opera, Mr. de Waart has conducted at Bayreuth; Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Grand Théâtre de Genève; Opéra Bastille; Santa Fe Opera; and The Metropolitan Opera. As music director in Milwaukee, Antwerp, and Hong Kong, he often conducted semi-staged and operas in concert; he continues this mission with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra at Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw.

Edo de Waart’s extensive recording catalog encompasses releases for the Philips, Virgin, EMI, Telarc, and RCA labels. Recent recordings include Henderickx’s Symphony No.1 and Oboe Concerto, Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, and Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius, all with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic.

He began his career as an Assistant Conductor to Leonard Bernstein at the New York Philharmonic, then returned to Holland, where he was appointed assistant conductor to Bernard Haitink at Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. In 1973 he was appointed chief conductor and artistic director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.

Edo de Waart has received a number of awards for his musical achievements, including being named a Knight in the Order of the Dutch Lion, an Honorary Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia, and an Honorary Fellow of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.

Learn more about Edo de Waart

Emanuel Ax


Emanuel Ax


Emanuel Ax


Born in modern day Lvov, Poland, Emanuel Ax moved to Winnipeg, Canada, with his family as 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.

Highlights of the 2019–20 season include a European summer festival tour with the Vienna Philharmonic and Bernard Haitink, an Asian tour with the London Symphony and Simon Rattle, concerts in the US with the Rotterdam Philharmonic and Lahav Shani, and three concerts with regular partners Leonidas Kavakos and Yo-Yo Ma at Carnegie Hall in March. Mr. Ax also participates in Carnegie Hall’s celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday, culminating in a May solo recital, preceded by recitals in Madison, Santa Barbara, Orange County, Washington, Las Vegas, and Colorado Springs. He will be heard with orchestras in Houston, Baltimore, Atlanta, San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Montreal, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Frankfurt, Berlin, Rome, Zurich, Rotterdam, and Tel Aviv.

A Sony Classical exclusive recording artist since 1987, Mr. Ax has received Grammy Awards for the second and third volumes of his Haydn piano sonata cycle, as well as for his series with Yo-Yo Ma of the Beethoven and Brahms sonatas for cello and piano. In 2004–05 he contributed to an International Emmy Award–winning BBC documentary commemorating the Holocaust that aired on the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. His recording Variations received the Echo Klassik Award for Solo Recording of the Year in 2013.

Emanuel Ax is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and holds honorary doctorates from Skidmore College, Yale University, and Columbia University.

Learn more about Emanuel Ax

Special Thanks

Bent Sørensen's commission is made possible by the generous support of The Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music.

These concerts are made possible with generous support from the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts.


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