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Garrick Ohlsson

An imposing physical presence at six feet four inches tall, with a reach of a 12th, Garrick Ohlsson is a pianist with a flawless technique, a strong grasp of form, and a clean, non-romanticized style of performing. He began piano studies when he was eight years old, attending the Westchester Conservatory of Music. After he saw Rubinstein in concert, he told interviewer Michael Steinberg, his choice of career was set. "I was blasted into orbit. And that's when I said in my mind...when other little boys say, 'I want to be a fireman,' that's what I want to do." He entered the preparatory course of the Juilliard School when he was 13, where he studied with Sascha Gorodnitzki; remaining at Juilliard for his bachelor's degree in music (earned in 1971), he studied with Rosina Lhévinne. Private studies with Olga Barabini, Irma Wolpe, and Claudio Arrau rounded out Ohlsson's education.

In 1966 he won the Busoni Competition in Italy, and in 1968, the Montreal Piano Competition, but it was his 1970 victory in the Chopin Competition in Warsaw that launched his career. He was the first American winner, and his victory gained some of the same kind of attention as had Van Cliburn's Tchaikovsky Competition triumph a little over a decade earlier. A Warsaw critic called Ohlsson a "bear-butterfly" of a pianist, and the young pianist had a distinctive image to go with his credentials.

Ohlsson has maintained a strong association with the music of Chopin, and has played the Polish master's complete piano works several times in recital and on recordings. His Chopin interpretations favor intense emotionalism over a languid, swooning salon style. Ohlsson is by no means exclusively a player of Chopin; however, his repertory extends from Haydn to 20th century masters and includes more than 80 works for piano and orchestra. He tours and appears as a guest soloist with orchestras around the world and has made over a dozen tours to Poland alone, where he continues to be particularly esteemed for his Chopin playing. He is also an avid chamber performer and has collaborated with the Cleveland, Tokyo and Tákacs quartets. With violinist Jorja Fleezanis and cellist Michael Grebanier he founded the FOG Trio, based in San Francisco. During the 2002-2003 season, Ohlsson appeared as part of the Lincoln Center Great Performers series in New York, performing works by Busoni. A pianist completely consumed with musical life, Ohlsson has, when asked by an interviewer, been unable to remember what kind of car he drives.
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Beethoven: Sonatas, Vol. 3

Title: Piano Sonata No. 3 In C Major, Op. 2/3

1. Piano Sonata No. 3 In C Major, Op. 2/3: I. Allegro Con Brio

2. Piano Sonata No. 3 In C Major, Op. 2/3: II. Adagio

3. Piano Sonata No. 3 In C Major, Op. 2/3: III. Scherzo: Allegro

4. Piano Sonata No. 3 In C Major, Op. 2/3: IV. Allegro Assai

Title: Piano Sonata No. 9 In E Major, Op. 14/1

5. Piano Sonata No. 9 In E Major, Op. 14/1: I. Allegro

6. Piano Sonata No. 9 In E Major, Op. 14/1: II. Allegretto

7. Piano Sonata No. 9 In E Major, Op. 14/1: III. Rondo. Allegro Commodo

Title: Piano Sonata No. 10 In G Major, Op. 14/2

8. Piano Sonata No. 10 In G Major, Op. 14/2: I. Allegro

9. Piano Sonata No. 10 In G Major, Op. 14/2: II. Andante

10. Piano Sonata No. 10 In G Major, Op. 14/2: III. Scherzo. Allegro Assai

Title: Piano Sonata No. 25 In G Major ("Cuckoo"), Op. 79

11. Piano Sonata No. 25 In G Major ("Cuckoo"), Op. 79: I. Presto Alla Tedesca

12. Piano Sonata No. 25 In G Major ("Cuckoo"), Op. 79: II. Andante

13. Piano Sonata No. 25 In G Major ("Cuckoo"), Op. 79: III. Vivace

x

Track List: Chopin: The Complete Waltzes

Title: Waltz For Piano No. 1 In E Flat Major, Op. 18, Ct. 207

1. Waltz For Piano No. 1 In E Flat Major, Op. 18, Ct. 207: "Grande Valse Brillante" Waltz for Piano No. 1 in E Flat Major, Op. 18, Ct. 207

Title: Waltz For Piano No. 2 In A Flat Major, Op. 34/1, Ct. 208

2. Waltz For Piano No. 2 In A Flat Major, Op. 34/1, Ct. 208: Waltz For Piano No. 2 In A Flat Major

Title: Waltz For Piano No. 3 In A Minor, Op. 34/2, Ct. 209

3. Waltz For Piano No. 3 In A Minor, Op. 34/2, Ct. 209: Waltz For Piano No. 3 In A Minor

Title: Waltz For Piano No. 4 In F Major, Op. 34/3, Ct. 210

4. Waltz For Piano No. 4 In F Major, Op. 34/3, Ct. 210: Waltz For Piano No. 4 In F Major "Grande Valse Brillante"

Title: Waltz For Piano No. 5 In A Flat Major, Op. 42, Ct. 211

5. Waltz For Piano No. 5 In A Flat Major, Op. 42, Ct. 211: Waltz for Piano No. 5 in A Flat Major, Op. 42, CT. 211

Title: Waltz For Piano No. 6 In D Flat Major ("Minute"), Op. 64/1, Ct. 212

6. Waltz For Piano No. 6 In D Flat Major ("Minute"), Op. 64/1, Ct. 212: Waltz For Piano No. 6 In D Flat Major ("Minute")

Title: Waltz For Piano No. 7 In C Sharp Minor, Op. 64/2, Ct. 213

7. Waltz For Piano No. 7 In C Sharp Minor, Op. 64/2, Ct. 213: Waltz No.7 In C Sharp Minor, Op.64 No.2

Title: Waltz For Piano No. 8 In A Flat Major, Op. 64/3, Ct. 214

8. Waltz For Piano No. 8 In A Flat Major, Op. 64/3, Ct. 214: Waltz For Piano A Flat Major, Op. 64 No. 3

Title: Waltz For Piano No. 9 In A Flat Major ("L'adieu") Op. 69/1, Ct. 215

9. Waltz For Piano No. 9 In A Flat Major ("L'adieu") Op. 69/1, Ct. 215: Waltz For Piano No. 9 In A Flat Major ('L'adieu') Op. 69/1, Ct. 215

Title: Waltz For Piano No. 10 In B Minor, Op. 69/2, Ct. 216

10. Waltz For Piano No. 10 In B Minor, Op. 69/2, Ct. 216: Waltz in B Minor, Op.69 No.2

Title: Waltz For Piano No. 11 In G Flat Major, Op. 70/1, Ct. 217

11. Waltz For Piano No. 11 In G Flat Major, Op. 70/1, Ct. 217: Waltz in G Flat Major, Op. 70 No. 1

Title: Waltz For Piano No. 12 In F Minor, Op. 70/2, Ct. 218

12. Waltz For Piano No. 12 In F Minor, Op. 70/2, Ct. 218: Valse En Fa Mineur In F Minor

Title: Waltz For Piano No. 13 In D Flat Major, Op. 70/3, Ct. 219

13. Waltz For Piano No. 13 In D Flat Major, Op. 70/3, Ct. 219: Waltz For Piano In D Flat Major, Op. 70 No. 3

Title: Waltz For Piano In A Flat Major, Kk Iva/13, Ct. 221 (B. 21)

14. Waltz For Piano In A Flat Major, Kk Iva/13, Ct. 221 (B. 21): Waltz in A Flat Major, Op. Posth., No. 13 CT. 221 (B. 21)

Title: Waltz For Piano In E Major, Kk Iva/12, Ct. 220 (B. 44)

15. Waltz For Piano In E Major, Kk Iva/12, Ct. 220 (B. 44): Waltz in E Major, No. 12, Op. Posth. CT. 220 (B. 44)

Title: Waltz For Piano In E Minor, Kk Iva/15, Ct. 222 (B. 56)

16. Waltz For Piano In E Minor, Kk Iva/15, Ct. 222 (B. 56): Waltz in E Minor, No. 15, Op. Posth. CT. 222 (B. 56)

Title: Waltz For Piano In A Minor, Kk Ivb/11, Ct. 224 (B. 150)

17. Waltz For Piano In A Minor, Kk Ivb/11, Ct. 224 (B. 150): Waltz in A Minor, KK IVb/11, CT. 224 (B. 150)

Title: Waltz For Piano In E Flat Major, Kk Ivb/10, Ct. 223

18. Waltz For Piano In E Flat Major, Kk Ivb/10, Ct. 223: Waltz in E Flat Major, Op. Posth., No. 10 CT. 233

Title: Waltz For Piano In E Flat Major (Spurious), Kk Iva/14 (B. 46)

19. Waltz For Piano In E Flat Major (Spurious), Kk Iva/14 (B. 46): Waltz in E Flat Major (Spurious), KK IVa/14 (B. 46)

Title: Waltz For Piano In F Sharp Minor ("Valse Mélancolique"), Kk Ib/7

20. Waltz For Piano In F Sharp Minor ("Valse Mélancolique"), Kk Ib/7: Waltz For Piano In F Sharp Minor ("Valse Mélancolique")

Title: Contredanse for piano in G flat major, KK. Anh.Ia/4 (B. 84) (spurious)

21. Contredanse for piano in G flat major, KK. Anh.Ia/4 (B. 84) (spurious): Contredanse for Piano in G Flat Major, KK. Anh.Ia/4 (B. 84) (Spurious)

Title: Ecossaises (3) for piano, Op. 72/3, CT. 11-13

22. Ecossaises (3) for piano, Op. 72/3, CT. 11-13: Ecossaise For Piano No. 1 In D Major

23. Ecossaises (3) for piano, Op. 72/3, CT. 11-13: Ecossaise For Piano No. 2 In G Major

24. Ecossaises (3) for piano, Op. 72/3, CT. 11-13: Ecossaise For Piano No. 3 In D Flat Major

x

Track List: Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3; Symphonic Dances

Title: Piano Concerto No. 3 In D Minor, Op. 30

1. Piano Concerto No. 3 In D Minor, Op. 30: I. Allegro Ma Non Tanto

2. Piano Concerto No. 3 In D Minor, Op. 30: II. Intermezzo: Adagio

3. Piano Concerto No. 3 In D Minor, Op. 30: III. Finale: Alla Breve

Title: Symphonic Dances, For Orchestra (Or 2 Pianos), Op. 45

4. Symphonic Dances, For Orchestra (Or 2 Pianos), Op. 45: I. Non Allegro

5. Symphonic Dances, For Orchestra (Or 2 Pianos), Op. 45: II. Andante Con Moto (Tempo Di Valse)

6. Symphonic Dances, For Orchestra (Or 2 Pianos), Op. 45: III. Lento Assai - Allegro Vivace

x

Track List: Rachmaninov: Corelli Variations; Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition; Prokofiev: Sonata No. 2

Title: Variations On A Theme Of Corelli, For Piano, Op. 42

1. Variations On A Theme Of Corelli, For Piano, Op. 42: I. Theme

2. Variations On A Theme Of Corelli, For Piano, Op. 42: II. Variation I

3. Variations On A Theme Of Corelli, For Piano, Op. 42: III. Variation II

4. Variations On A Theme Of Corelli, For Piano, Op. 42: IV. Variation III

5. Variations On A Theme Of Corelli, For Piano, Op. 42: V. Variation IV

6. Variations On A Theme Of Corelli, For Piano, Op. 42: VI. Variation V

7. Variations On A Theme Of Corelli, For Piano, Op. 42: VII. Variation VI

8. Variations On A Theme Of Corelli, For Piano, Op. 42: VIII. Variation VII

9. Variations On A Theme Of Corelli, For Piano, Op. 42: IX. Variation VIII

10. Variations On A Theme Of Corelli, For Piano, Op. 42: X. Variation IX

11. Variations On A Theme Of Corelli, For Piano, Op. 42: XI. Variation X

12. Variations On A Theme Of Corelli, For Piano, Op. 42: XII. Variation XI

13. Variations On A Theme Of Corelli, For Piano, Op. 42: XIII. Variation XII

14. Variations On A Theme Of Corelli, For Piano, Op. 42: XIV. Variation XIII

15. Variations On A Theme Of Corelli, For Piano, Op. 42: XV. Intermezzo

16. Variations On A Theme Of Corelli, For Piano, Op. 42: XVI. Variation XIV

17. Variations On A Theme Of Corelli, For Piano, Op. 42: XVII. Variation XV

18. Variations On A Theme Of Corelli, For Piano, Op. 42: XVIII. Variation XVI

19. Variations On A Theme Of Corelli, For Piano, Op. 42: XIX. Variation XVII

20. Variations On A Theme Of Corelli, For Piano, Op. 42: XX. Variation XVIII

21. Variations On A Theme Of Corelli, For Piano, Op. 42: XXI. Variation XIX

22. Variations On A Theme Of Corelli, For Piano, Op. 42: XXII. Variation XX

Composer: Sergey Prokofiev
Title: Piano Sonata No. 2 In D Minor, Op. 14

23. Piano Sonata No. 2 In D Minor, Op. 14: I. Allegro, Ma Non Troppo

24. Piano Sonata No. 2 In D Minor, Op. 14: II. Scherzo: Allegro Marcato

25. Piano Sonata No. 2 In D Minor, Op. 14: III. Andante

26. Piano Sonata No. 2 In D Minor, Op. 14: IV. Vivace - Moderato

Composer: Modest Mussorgsky
Title: Pictures At An Exhibition (Kartinki S Vïstavski), For Piano

27. Pictures At An Exhibition (Kartinki S Vïstavski), For Piano: I. Promenade

28. Pictures At An Exhibition (Kartinki S Vïstavski), For Piano: II. Gnomus

29. Pictures At An Exhibition (Kartinki S Vïstavski), For Piano: III. Promenade

30. Pictures At An Exhibition (Kartinki S Vïstavski), For Piano: IV. Il Vecchio Castello

31. Pictures At An Exhibition (Kartinki S Vïstavski), For Piano: V. Promenade

32. Pictures At An Exhibition (Kartinki S Vïstavski), For Piano: VI. Tuileries

33. Pictures At An Exhibition (Kartinki S Vïstavski), For Piano: VII. Bydlo

34. Pictures At An Exhibition (Kartinki S Vïstavski), For Piano: VIII. Promenade

35. Pictures At An Exhibition (Kartinki S Vïstavski), For Piano: IX. Ballet Des Pousins Dans Leur Coques

36. Pictures At An Exhibition (Kartinki S Vïstavski), For Piano: X. La Grande Porte

37. Pictures At An Exhibition (Kartinki S Vïstavski), For Piano: XI. Promenade

38. Pictures At An Exhibition (Kartinki S Vïstavski), For Piano: XII. Limoges: Le Marche

39. Pictures At An Exhibition (Kartinki S Vïstavski), For Piano: XIII. Catacombae: Sepulcrum Romanum

40. Pictures At An Exhibition (Kartinki S Vïstavski), For Piano: XIV. C*m Mortuis in Lingua Mortua

41. Pictures At An Exhibition (Kartinki S Vïstavski), For Piano: XV. La Cabane Sur Des Pattes De Poule

42. Pictures At An Exhibition (Kartinki S Vïstavski), For Piano: XVI. La Grande Porte De Kiev

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