Performance Friday, January 29, 2010 | 8 PM

Yo-Yo Ma
Emanuel Ax


Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
This bicentenary celebration features Romantic music for cello and piano, written by two great pianist-composers. But the dark tone of the instrument suits their music perfectly. The celebrated performers also present a searching new work by one of the most thoughtful and passionate composers living today.


  • Emanuel Ax, Piano
  • Yo-Yo Ma, Cello


  • SCHUMANN Adagio and Allegro, Op. 70
  • SCHUMANN Five Pieces in Folk Style, Op. 102
  • PETER LIEBERSON Remembering Schumann (NY Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
  • CHOPIN Polonaise brillante in C Major, Op. 3
  • SCHUMANN Fantasiestücke, Op. 73
  • CHOPIN Cello Sonata in G Minor, Op. 65

  • Encores:
  • BRAHMS Adagio from Violin Sonata No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 108

  • Program is approximately 2 hours, including one intermission


  • Emanuel Ax, Piano

    Born in Lvov, Poland, Emanuel Ax moved to Winnipeg, Canada, with his family when he was a young boy. His studies at The Juilliard School were supported by the sponsorship of the Epstein Scholarship Program of the Boys Clubs of America, and he subsequently won the Young Concert Artists Award. Additionally, he attended Columbia University, where he majored in French. Mr. Ax captured the public's attention in 1974 when he 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 coveted Avery Fisher Prize.

    In recognition of the bicentenaries of Chopin and Schumann in 2010 and in partnership with London's Barbican, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the San Francisco Symphony, Mr. Ax has commissioned new works from composers Peter Lieberson, Osvaldo Golijov, and Thomas Adès for three recital programs to be presented in each of those cities with colleagues Yo-Yo Ma and Dawn Upshaw.

    In addition to this large-scale project, Mr. Ax will tour Asia with the New York Philharmonic on its first tour with incoming Music Director Alan Gilbert. He will also tour Europe with both the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and James Conlon, as well as the Pittsburgh Symphony with Manfred Honeck.

    Mr. Ax has been an exclusive Sony Classical recording artist since 1987. Recent releases include Richard Strauss's Enoch Arden, narrated by Patrick Stewart; discs of two-piano music by Brahms and Rachmaninoff with Yefim Bronfman; and soon-to-be-released Mendelssohn trios with cellist Yo-Yo- Ma and violinist Itzhak Perlman. Mr. Ax has received Grammy Awards for the second and third volumes of his cycle of Haydn's piano sonatas. He has also made a series of Grammy-winning recordings with Yo-Yo Ma of the Beethoven and Brahms sonatas for cello and piano. His other recordings include the concertos of Liszt and Schoenberg, three solo Brahms albums, an album of tangos by Astor Piazzolla, and the premiere recording of John Adams's Century Rolls with The Cleveland Orchestra for Nonesuch.

    Mr. Ax resides in New York City with his wife, pianist Yoko Nozaki. They have two children together, Joseph and Sarah. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and holds honorary doctorates of music from Yale and Columbia universities. Visit for more information.
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  • Yo-Yo Ma, Cello

    The multifaceted career of cellist Yo-Yo Ma is testament to his continual search for new ways of communicating with audiences and his personal desire for artistic growth and renewal. Whether performing a new concerto, revisiting a familiar work from the cello repertoire, coming together with colleagues for chamber music, or exploring musical forms outside of the Western classical tradition, Mr. Ma strives to find connections that stimulate the imagination.

    Mr. Ma maintains a balance between his engagements as soloist with orchestras throughout the world and his recital and chamber music activities. He draws inspiration from a wide circle of collaborators, each fueled by the artists' interactions. One of Mr. Ma's goals is to explore music as a means of communication and a vehicle for the migrations of ideas across a range of cultures. Expanding upon this interest, Mr. Ma established the Silk Road Project to promote the study of the cultural, artistic, and intellectual traditions along the ancient Silk Road trade route that stretched from the Mediterranean Sea to the Pacific Ocean. By examining the flow of ideas throughout this vast area, the project seeks to illuminate the heritages of the Silk Road countries and identify the voices that represent these traditions today. During the 2009-2010 academic year, the Silk Road Project is partnering with arts and educational organizations to pilot Silk Road Connect, a multiyear, multidisciplinary educational initiative for middle school students in New York City public schools.

    Through the Silk Road Project, as throughout his career, Mr. Ma seeks to expand the cello repertoire, frequently performing lesser-known music of the 20th century and commissions of new concertos and recital pieces. He has premiered works by a diverse group of composers, among them Stephen Albert, Elliott Carter, Chen Yi, Richard Danielpour, Osvaldo Golijov, John Harbison, Leon Kirchner, Christopher Rouse, Bright Sheng, Tan Dun, and John Williams.

    Mr. Ma remains one of the best-selling recording artists in the classical field. He is an exclusive Sony Classical artist, and his discography of over 75 albums (including more than 15 Grammy Award winners) reflects his wide-ranging interests. Mr. Ma's most recent recordings include Songs of Joy and Peace; Paris: La Belle Époque, with pianist Kathryn Stott; and New Impossibilities, a live album recorded with the Silk Road Ensemble and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
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