October 11, 2016
Pianist Emanuel Ax this weekend in the Concert Hall and WALLCAST™ Concert in SoundScape Park
The always highly anticipated guest performer this weekend at the New World Center, famed pianist Emanuel Ax, first performed with the New World Symphony a quarter of a century ago in January 1992. While afterwards he didn’t return until December 2008, Mr. Ax has been more of a regular guest artist since then. As the ‘star’ attraction, he appeared subsequently in the NWS Arsht Center series--in October 2010, October 2013 and March 2016.
Interestingly perhaps, he has steered away from performances of the usual piano virtuoso pieces to a more varied and skilled repertoire with NWS. He's performed the following concertos for piano and orchestra: Prokofiev No. 1, Brahms No. 2 and Beethoven Nos. 3, 4 and 5 (“Emperor”).
In 2015 SFS Media released the CD recording by NWS Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony (of which he is Music Director) of Emanuel Ax in a dynamic performance of the Beethoven No. 3. Mr. Ax also performed that work with the New World Symphony, led by MTT, for the concerts of December 12-14, 2008 at the Lincoln Theatre. Another recording of Ax/SFS/MTT performing Beethoven No. 4 was released in 2011.
Last season, the follow-up to Ax’s New World Symphony concerts of March 4 and 5, 2016 at NWC and the Arsht, was accompanying the orchestra to Puerto Rico for a concert on the 6th as part of the Festival Casals in San Juan.
“… when he sat at the keyboard…, he rolled out the sweeping opening of the Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, known as the “Emperor,” with an authority and grandeur few pianists could match. What followed was an exemplary performance of this popular work, big and extroverted, but with a feeling for nuance and lyricism.”
CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION AND TO BUY TICKETS FOR THE SATURDAY/SUNDAY CONCERTS
Interesting note: When frequent New World Symphony guest artist, the American pianist Garrick Ohlsson was the first American to win first prize in the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, Poland, in 1970, Emanuel Ax got an honorable mention.
Photos of the October 30, 2010 NWS concert at the Arsht Center, MTT conducting, courtesy of the New World Symphony Archives