||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2011)|
Ohlsson was the first American to win first prize in the International Frédéric Chopin Piano Competition, in 1970. He also won first prize at the Busoni Competition in Italy and the Montreal Piano Competition in Canada. Ohlsson was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize in 1994 and received the 1998 University Musical Society Distinguished Artist Award in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Ohlsson began his studies at the age of eight at the Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains and, at the age of 13, began studying at 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. Although Ohlsson is especially noted for his performances of the works of Chopin, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, he has a broad range from Bach and Busoni to Copland and Gershwin. Writing in The New York Times , the music critic Allan Kozinn has characterized Ohlsson's repertory as "huge."
Ohlsson has performed in North America with symphony orchestras of Cleveland, Philadelphia, Boston, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Houston, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Seattle, Denver, Washington D.C., and Berkeley; and the National Arts Centre, St. Paul Chamber, and the London Philharmonic at Lincoln Center.
Ohlsson toured with the Takács Quartet in 2005-2006.
In 2006-2007, he opened the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York. He has also performed at the BBC Proms with the Budapest Festival Orchestra. In 2010 he visited Australia and gave concerts in Melbourne.
Among his many recordings, Ohlsson undertook a survey of Chopin's complete piano music - including sonatas, preludes, etudes, ballades, rondos, scherzos, variations, polonaises, nocturnes, waltzes, mazurkas, concertos, and others. In 1989, he recorded Busoni's five movement Piano Concerto in C major, Op. 39 with the Cleveland Orchestra under Christoph von Dohnányi.
Ohlsson possesses an unusually vast repertoire that ranges over some eighty concertos. He is also known for his exceptional keyboard stretch (a 12th in the left hand and a 11th in the right).
- First Prize, 1966 Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition, Bolzano
- Gold Medal, 1970 International Frédéric Chopin Piano Competition, Warsaw
- Avery Fisher Prize, 1994
- Grammy Award, 2008
Garrick Ohlsson has recorded with the following labels:
- Arabesque Recordings
- RCA Red Seal Records
- Angel Records
- Bridge Records
- Delos International
- Hänssler Classic
- Hyperion Records - Complete works of Chopin
- Nonesuch Records
- EMI Classics
- Connoisseur Society
- Garrick Ohlsson at Opus3 Artists