From Music Director Daniel Meyer


Emanuel Ax is without a doubt one of the finest musicians to be currently living on our planet.  He plays the piano with an unparalleled technical excellence, forms musical phrases that are simply astounding, and turns dots and dashes on a page into the most delightful music-making you can imagine.  He has collaborated with all of this century’s great musicians, including Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman, the Cleveland Orchestra and Berlin Philharmonic.  He has made recordings that have been celebrated and most highly prized the world-over.

But of course this all doesn’t happen in a vacuum.  There must be a human being of the highest order behind those notes to make a truly great artist: a human who feels deeply, thinks deeply, and cares about the musicians and audience members around him.

Emanuel Ax is that and much more.  He brightens any room he enters with his own special sense of humor, his own positive way, his discreet but passionate care for details, be they musical or related to a collaborator or a student.  Having had the distinct pleasure of collaborating with Mr. Ax once before, I know what an amazing and transformative experience this will be for our musicians.  The chance to share the stage with him, to learn from him, to glean suggestions about phasing, to play Beethoven's Emperor Concerto with him…. That will be the chance of a lifetime, and I only hope that we open our arms to him as much as he has opened his heart to us in choosing to make Erie a stop in his rich and varied musical life.  

Mr. Ax, thanks in advance for all that you will bring to Erie in your four-day residency with us.  I, for one, cannot wait!



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