AX, EMANUEL


AX, EMANUEL
AX, EMANUEL (1949– ), U.S. pianist of Polish birth. After World War II, the Ax family immigrated to Canada, moving to New York in 1961. Ax's first teacher was his father, a coach at the Lvov Opera. In 1966 he begun his studies with M. Münz at the Juilliard School of Music and also attended Columbia University (B.A. 1970). Ax had already received several honors in competitions and made his New York debut in 1973. In 1974 he won the first Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Tel Aviv. The following year he received the Young Concert Artists' Michaels Award and in 1979 he won the Avery Fisher Prize. Ax developed an international career that brought him acclaim in equal measure for his concert, chamber, and recital performances. He appeared in the U.S. (Philadelphia Orchestra, New York PO, and the LPO) and abroad with major orchestras. In 1991 he made his debut at the Proms in London, performing Brahms' First Piano Concerto. Devoted to chamber music literature, Ax regularly performed with artists such as Young Uck Kim, Yo-Yo Ma, and Jaime Laredo and was a frequent collaborator with the late isaac stern . In addition, he made regular festival appearances at Aspen, Blossom, and Tanglewood. Acclaimed for his poetic lyricism, brilliant dramatic technique, and dynamic control, Ax is noted for his playing of the Classic and Romantic repertoire. As a particular supporter of 20th-century composers, he gave several world premieres of their work, including Century Rolls by John Adams (1997), Seeing by Christopher Rouse (1999), and Resurrection by Krzysztof Penderecki. He also performed works by Tippett, Hans Werner Henze, Hindemith, and Piazzolla. Many of his recordings won top honors. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Grove online; MGG 2; D. Dubal, Reflections from the Keyboard: The World of the Concert Pianist (1984), 44–49. (Naama Ramot (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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