In 2014, David Robertson’s first year as Artistic Director of the Sydney Symphony, he invited his friend and colleague, the legendary pianist Emanuel Ax, to perform all five of Beethoven’s piano concertos across three concerts. In 2018, Ax is back, this time with six Mozart concertos. They are the works at the heart of a month-long celebration of the music of Mozart, as the official opening of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s 2018 Season.

Why Mozart? And why now? It depends on who you ask. For Emanuel Ax it’s not a question of why. It’s more a question of why on earth not. “All pianists want to play Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms piano concertos”, says the Polish-born American pianist who, since his 1974 triumph at the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition, has become one of the world’s best-loved and most adventurous artists. His busy schedule for 2018 will see him giving multiple performances of a new concerto by HK Gruber, commissioned for Ax by the New York Philharmonic, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zürich, as well as a chamber music tour with his regular trio partners, the cellist Yo-Yo Ma and...

Access our paywalled content and archive of magazines, regular news and features for the limited offer of $3 per month. Support independent journalism.

Subscribe now or log in to continue reading.