Emanuel Ax will perform three world premiere compositions
   Peter Lieberson, Osvaldo Golijov and John Adams

Pianist Emanuel Ax (pictured), a longtime musical collaborator with the San Francisco Symphony since his debut with the Orchestra in 1979, will be featured in three special concerts and a week of December concerts with the Orchestra. Ax will perform the world premieres of three San Francisco Symphony co-commissions by Peter Lieberson, Osvaldo Golijov and John Adams. All of the new works, written specifically for Ax, have been inspired in some way by the music of Schumann and Chopin, as 2010 marks the 200th birthday for both composers.

In celebration, Ax also will be performing works by Chopin and Schumann during his three special concerts. In December, Ax performs Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4. Ax will perform the Lieberson work with Yo-Yo Ma in January as part of Ma’s Project San Francisco residency. In a March recital with soprano Dawn Upshaw, Ax premieres a new work from Osvaldo Golijov with songs of Chopin and Schumann. Ax performs the world premiere of a new John Adams piece in an April solo recital, in addition to a selection of other works by Chopin and Schumann. The San Francisco Symphony co-commissioned the new works with the Barbican Centre, the Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Emanuel Ax most recently performed with the San Francisco Symphony in October 2008 under the baton of Peter Oundjian in the first San Francisco Symphony performances of Szymanowski’s Symphony No. 4 for Piano and Orchestra and Richard Strauss’ Burleske for Piano and Orchestra. Michael Tilson Thomas first conducted Ax with the San Francisco Symphony in the 1998 West Coast premiere of John Adams’ Century Rolls, which the composer wrote specifically for Ax. Emanuel Ax and Yo-Yo Ma have made many recordings together, and in 1989 performed in recital at Davies Symphony Hall and again in a special concert in February 2000. Recent highlights for Ax include a season-long Perspectives series at Carnegie Hall and his appointment as Pianist in Residence at the Berlin Philharmonic, performing under Sir Simon Rattle in Berlin and New York . In Europe he joined the New York Philharmonic in Vienna and Warsaw and toured with the Budapest Festival Orchestra in Germany and Holland.

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