Garrick Ohlsson has established himself worldwide as a musician of magisterial interpretive and technical prowess. Having been the first and only American to have won first prize the Chopin International Piano Competition, Garrick Ohlsson has long been regarded as one of the world’s leading exponents of the music of Frédéric Chopin. A student of the late Claudio Arrau, Ohlsson has come to be noted for his masterly performances of the works of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, as well as the Romantic repertoire. To date he has at his command more than 80 concertos, ranging from Haydn and Mozart to works of the 21st century, with many commissioned for him.
Since his triumph as winner of the 1970 Chopin International Piano Competition, pianist Garrick Ohlsson has established himself worldwide as a musician of magisterial interpretive and technical prowess. Although long regarded as one of the world’s leading exponents of the music of Frédéric Chopin, Mr. Ohlsson commands an enormous repertoire, which ranges over the entire piano literature. A student of the late Claudio Arrau, Mr. Ohlsson has come to be noted for his masterly performances of the works of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, as well as the Romantic repertoire. To date he has at his command more than 80 concertos, ranging from Haydn and Mozart to works of the 21st century. This season that vast repertoire can be sampled in concerti ranging from the dramatic Barber Concerto to Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms and Rachmaninov, in cities including Nashville, Seoul, Dallas, Colorado, St Petersburg, Helsinki, Zagreb and London.
In the 2018/2019 he began an ambitious project spread over two seasons exploring the complete solo piano works of Brahms in four different programs, with performances in New York, San Francisco, Montreal, London, Warsaw and other cities across North America.
An avid chamber musician, Mr. Ohlsson has collaborated with the Takacs, Cleveland, Emerson, and Tokyo string quartets, among other ensembles. Together with violinist Jorja Fleezanis and the late cellist Michael Grebanier, he was a founding member of the San Francisco-based FOG Trio. Passionate about singing and singers, Mr. Ohlsson has appeared in recital with such legendary artists as Magda Olivero, Jessye Norman, and Ewa Podles.
Mr. Ohlsson can be heard on the Angel, Arabesque, BMG, Delos, Hänssler, Hyperion, Nonesuch, RCA Victor Red Seal, Telarc and Virgin Classics labels. His ten-disc set of the complete Beethoven Sonatas, for Bridge Records, has garnered critical acclaim, receiving a Grammy award for Vol. 3. The British label Hyperion re-released his 16-disc set of the Complete Works of Chopin in 2008. In 2010, in recognition of the Chopin bicentenary, Mr. Ohlsson was featured in a documentary “The Art of Chopin” co-produced by Polish, French, British and Chinese television stations. Recently, both Brahms concerti and Tchaikovsky’s second piano concerto were released on live performance recordings with the Melbourne and Sydney Symphonies on their own labels, and Mr. Ohlsson was featured on Dvorak’s piano concerto in the Czech Philharmonic’s live recordings of the composer’s complete symphonies & concertos, released July of 2014 on Decca. In December 2018 Hyperion released Garrick Ohlsson’s CD of Brahms Late Piano Works.
A native of White Plains, N.Y., Garrick Ohlsson began his piano studies at the age of 8, at the Westchester Conservatory of Music; at 13 he entered The Juilliard School, in New York City. His musical development has been influenced in completely different ways by a succession of distinguished teachers, most notably Claudio Arrau, Olga Barabini, Tom Lishman, Sascha Gorodnitzki, Rosina Lhévinne and Irma Wolpe. Although he won First Prizes at the 1966 Busoni Competition in Italy and the 1968 Montréal Piano Competition, it was his 1970 triumph at the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, where he won the Gold Medal (and remains the single American to have done so), that brought him worldwide recognition as one of the finest pianists of his generation. Since then he has made nearly a dozen tours of Poland, where he retains immense personal popularity. Mr. Ohlsson was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize in 1994 and received the 1998 University Musical Society Distinguished Artist Award in Ann Arbor, MI. He is also the 2014 recipient of the Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance from the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music. He makes his home in San Francisco.
Promoters please note: if you wish to include this biography in a concert programme etc, please contact Hazard Chase to ensure that you receive the most up to date version. Email: Laurens Price-Nowak