Emmanuel Ax Named Honorary Member of NY Philharmonic-Symphony Society
Pianist Emanuel Ax was named an Honorary Member of the Philharmonic-Symphony Society of New York last night, following his 100th performance with the Orchestra. The honor, created in 1843, is the highest given by the New York Philharmonic, and in the course of its 169-year history, 65 people have been recipients. Among the 46 honorees in the 19th century were composers Felix Mendelssohn, Louis Moreau Gottschalk, Franz Liszt, Richard Wagner, Anton Rubinstein, and Antonín Dvo?ák. Since 1900 only 19 people have been so honored, including Presidents Calvin Coolidge and Harry S. Truman; composers Igor Stravinsky, Paul Hindemith, and Aaron Copland; philanthropists Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller; conductors Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Mehta, Pierre Boulez, Erich Leinsdorf, and Lorin Maazel; soloists Rudolf Serkin and Isaac Stern; and former Philharmonic Principal Clarinet Stanley Drucker. Mr. Ax becomes the 66th Honorary Member.
The honor was presented to Mr. Ax "in recognition of one of the most insightful and virtuosic artists of our time; of his generous and gentle spirit; of his constant musical curiosity; of the 100 unforgettable performances with our Orchestra in New York and around the world; of the many more collaborations to come; and in gratitude for this splendid partnership, both on and off the stage; the high distinctions that he, as musician, cherished friend, and citizen of the world, has brought to the Society and to our City for nearly 35 years."
Zarin Mehta, President and Executive Director of the New York Philharmonic said: "Manny Ax is beloved by musicians, audiences, and critics around the world, but nowhere more so than by the New York Philharmonic. His musical brilliance and versatility have greatly enriched our performances, and this honor is a fitting tribute to his artistry."