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, Garrick Ohlsson commands an enormous repertoire, which ranges over the entire piano literature. A student of the late Claudio Arrau, Garrick Ohlsson 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, many commissioned for him. In the 2018-19 season he launched an ambitious project spread over multiple seasons exploring the complete solo piano works of Brahms in four programs.
A frequent guest with the orchestras in Australia, Garrick Ohlsson has recently visited Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, and Hobart as well as the New Zealand Symphony in Wellington and Auckland. In February 2020 he accomplished a seven-city recital tour across Australia just prior to the closure of the concert world due to Covid-19. Since that time and as a faculty member of San Francisco Conservatory of Music he has been able to contribute to keeping music alive for a number of organizations with live or recorded recital streams including a duo program with Kirill Gerstein with whom he will tour the US in winter 2022. With the re-opening of concert activity in the US in summer 2021 he appeared with the Indianapolis and Cleveland orchestras, in recital in San Francisco, at the Brevard Festival, and four Brahms recitals at Chicago’s Ravinia Festival. His 21-22 season included appearances with the KBS orchestra, Seoul, followed by the Atlanta, Dallas, Seattle symphonies, as well as BBC Glasgow and European orchestras in Prague, Hamburg, Lyon and St. Petersburg. He presented recitals in Los Angeles, Houston, and Kansas City as well as in Poland, Germany, and England.
An avid chamber musician, Garrick Ohlsson has collaborated with the Cleveland, Emerson, Tokyo and Takacs string quartets, including most recently Boston Chamber Players on tour in Europe. Together with violinist Jorja Fleezanis and cellist Michael Grebanier, he is 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 Arabesque, RCA Victor Red Seal, Angel, BMG, Delos, Hänssler, Nonesuch, Telarc, Hyperion, and Virgin Classics labels. His ten-disc set of the complete Beethoven Sonatas, for Bridge Records, has garnered critical acclaim, including a GRAMMY® for Vol. 3. His recording of Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 3, with the Atlanta Symphony and Robert Spano, was released in 2011. In the fall of 2008 the English label Hyperion re-released his 16-disc set of the Complete Works of Chopin followed in 2010 by all the Brahms piano variations, “Goyescas” by Enrique Granados, and music of Charles Tomlinson Griffes. Most recently on that label are Scriabin’s Complete Poèmes, Smetana Czech Dances, and ètudes by Debussy, Bartok, and Prokofiev. The latest CDs in his ongoing association with Bridge Records are the Complete Scriabin Sonatas, “Close Connections,” a recital of 20th-Century pieces, and two CDs of works by Liszt. In recognition of the Chopin bicentenary in 2010, Garrick Ohlsson was featured in a documentary “The Art of Chopin” co-produced by Polish, French, British, and Chinese television stations. Most 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 recording labels, andGarrick Ohlsson was featured on Dvorak’s piano concerto in the Czech Philharmonic’s recordings of the composer’s complete symphonies & concertos, released July of 2014 on the Decca label.
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. 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. Garrick 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 the 2014 recipient of the Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance from the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music, and in August 2018 the Polish Deputy Culture Minister awarded him with the Gloria Artis Gold Medal for cultural merit. He is a Steinway Artist and makes his home in San Francisco.