Artist's Biography

Garrick Ohlsson

Tuned in concert 10/18/75 Norwalk Ct.

Click mp3file  (468kb)  for actual concert sample (Chopin Piano Concerto, No 1 in E minor, Op 11 )

In 1970 a huge wall came crumbling down in Warsaw. When the dust had settled and the air had cleared, the world saw Garrick Ohlsson standing amidst the rubble. That day, he became the first American to win first prize in the International Chopin Competition. A barrier had been broken, and a marvelous new talent was discovered. 

Born and raised in White Plains, New York, Mr. Ohlsson took up the piano at the age of 8, and he soon began to aim his energies toward a life on the concert stage. Seeing Arthur Rubinstein at Carnegie Hall may have been the catalyst. In an interview with Michael Steinberg, he described the event: "I was blasted into orbit. And that's when I said in my mind at age 9 , when other little boys say 'I want to be a fireman,' that's what I want to do." 

His determination must have shown in his playing. He attended the Westchester Conservatory of Music and, at 13, began to study at The Juilliard School. He took first prize at the Busoni Competition in Italy in 1966 and at the Montreal Competition in 1968. Then there was the Warsaw Competition. We know what happened there. 

Today his repertory spans 70 works, and he is still busy on the stage, having recently appeared with some of the world's premier ensembles, including the Cleveland and Philadelphia orchestras, the New York Philharmonic, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In the realm of chamber music, he has performed with vocalist Jessye Norman, with the Emerson, Guarneri and Takacs quartets, and with clarinetist Richard Stoltzman. 

In 1991 his recording on Delos of Henri Lazarof's Tableaux for Piano and Orchestra with the Seattle Symphony under Gerard Schwarz was nominated for a Grammy Award. He is currently in the midst of an international cycle of Chopin recitals for Arabesque Records. Garrick Ohlsson is managed by Shaw Concerts, Inc. Garrick Ohlsson 


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