Pianist Emanuel Ax was born in Lvov Poland in 1949, and he began taking piano lessons when he was six and living in Warsaw. In 1961 his family moved to Winnipeg, a cold and windy city in Manitoba, Canada, where young Emanuel continued his lessons; he later attended the Juilliard School in New York, supported by a Boys Clubs of America scholarship. He went on to graduate from Columbia University. Ax wasn't catapulted into the spotlight at a young age like his frequent collaborator, Yo-Yo Ma, and in fact didn't step into the public eye until 1974 when, aged 25, he won the first Arthur Rubinstein International Competition in Tel Aviv. In 1979 he won the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize in New York; this victory secured him an RCA recording contract, and he hasn't looked back. He is known as a lyrical player with brilliant technique, and his repertoire spans concert, chamber, and recital performances.
Ax has won several Grammy awards, most - but not all - of them shared with Yo-Yo Ma. He has become associated with his brilliant recordings of Haydn Piano Sonatas, but he has also recorded concertos by Liszt, solo Brahms, tangos by Piazzolla, and many other classic pieces. With Ma, Ax joined Jaime Laredo and the late Isaac Stern for a series of recordings of the works of Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, and Brahms. Ax has been a staunch supporter of contemporary composers, commissioning and premiering their work.
Ax lives in New York with his wife Yoko Nozaki, also a pianist, and their two children.
Ax is now a Sony classical artist, and you can find out more about him, and see an impressive list of his recordings at