Grammy Award-Winning Pianist Emanuel Ax to Perform in Potsdam


World-renowned pianist Emanuel Ax will perform a solo recital of Schubert works in a CPS Guest Artist Series concert on Feb. 12 at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music.

Community Performance Series is pleased to present the internationally acclaimed seven-time Grammy Award-winning pianist Emanuel Ax as a 2010-11 McElheran Visiting Artist.

The world-class artist will perform in Potsdam at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 12, in the Helen M. Hosmer Concert Hall at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music. A pre-concert lecture will be given by Dr. Michael Sitton prior to the performance, starting at 6:30 p.m.

Widely considered to be one of the greatest pianists of the 21st century, Emanuel Ax is known for his poetic temperament and unsurpassed virtuosity.

“The Crane School is honored to host a performance by the distinguished pianist Emanuel Ax, in a recital featuring some of Schubert’s most sublime piano masterworks,” said Sitton, dean of The Crane School of Music. “Mr. Ax’s artistry, which has received international acclaim, provides a wonderful opportunity for our students and the entire community to experience firsthand the magic of such a legendary musician.”

In the Potsdam performance, Ax will present a solo recital featuring music by Franz Schubert, including the “Impromptus, Op. 142,” “Sonata in A, Op. 120” and the “Sonata in B-flat, D. 960.”

Born in Lvov, Poland, Ax moved to Canada as a young boy. He later studied at The Juilliard School under the Epstein Scholarship Program of the Boys Clubs of America. Ax captured public 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.

Ax has been an exclusive Sony Classical recording artist since 1987. Recent releases include Strauss’s “Enoch Arden,” narrated by Patrick Stewart; discs of two-piano music by Brahms and Rachmaninoff with Yefim Bronfman, and recordings of Mendelssohn trios with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and violinist Itzhak Perlman.

Ax has received a total of seven Grammy Awards, including for best chamber music performance and best instrumental solo performance. The pianist was honored for the second and third volumes of his cycle of Haydn’s piano sonatas, as well as recordings he made with Yo-Yo Ma of Beethoven and Brahms sonatas for cello and piano.

Emanuel Ax will also conduct a free masterclass on Sunday, Feb. 13 at 11 a.m. at Hosmer Hall. Participation is open to all SUNY Potsdam students, and the workshop will be open to the public for viewing.

Tickets can be purchased by visiting the CPS Box Office, located in the lobby of the Sara M. Snell Music Theater on the SUNY Potsdam campus, or Northern Music & Video in downtown Potsdam.

A special student rate of $10 is available for K-12 and college students with a valid ID. Tickets start at $24 for seniors and $28 for adults. Tickets are available by calling the CPS Box Office at (315) 267-2277 or by purchasing online at

The McElheran Visiting Artist Series is sponsored by a generous gift from the estates of N. Brock and Jane McElheran, with support from Janice Johnson and Friends and the estate of Sarah “Sally” Skyrm. The Emanuel Ax concert is also sponsored by the Corning, Inc. Foundation.

The 2010-11 CPS season is sponsored in part by The Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam, the E. J. Noble Foundation, the Maresca Family Endowment for the Arts, the Sweetgrass Foundation and WWNY-TV.

The Community Performance Series is a college-community partnership presenting world-class performing artists and arts education opportunities in Northern New York. CPS has been in residence at SUNY Potsdam since 1989.

For more information about CPS’s Guest Artist Series, visit

Founded in 1816, and located on the outskirts of the beautiful Adirondack Park, the State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges. SUNY Potsdam currently enrolls approximately 4,350 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its handcrafted education, challenging liberal arts and sciences core, excellence in teacher training and leadership in the performing and visual arts.