Garrick Ohlsson (born April 3, 1948 in New York) is an American classical pianist. 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, Franz Liszt, and Schubert, he has a broad range from Bach and Busoni to Copland, Charles Tomlinson Griffes, Claude Debussy, Gershwin and contemporary composers who have written new works for him, such as Justin Dello Joio. Writing in The New York Times, 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, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Houston, Detroit, 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 is an avid chamber musician and has collaborated with the Cleveland, Emerson, Takács and Tokyo string quartets, among other ensembles. In 2005-2006, Ohlsson toured with the Takács Quartet. Ohlsson is also a founding member of San Francisco's FOG Trio, together with violinist Jorja Fleezanis and cellist Michael Grebanier.
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 has also recorded all of the Beethoven piano sonatas for Bridge Records.
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 an 11th in the right).
Ohlsson made an appearance on "The Dick Cavett Show" on November 14, 1971 where he also performed a piano piece. The show also featured actor/singer Sammy Davis Jr., and young "Family Affair" actress Anissa Jones.
- First Prize, 1966 Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition, Bolzano
- First Prize, 1968 Montreal Piano Competition
- Gold Medal, 1970 International Frédéric Chopin Piano Competition, Warsaw
- Avery Fisher Prize, 1994
- Grammy Award, 2008
- Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance, 2014, Northwestern University
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". Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- "VIII Competition — 1970". The International Chopin Competition. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- "List of Winners 1961-1970". International Busoni Competition. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- "Winners". Avery Fisher Prize. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- Horowitz, Joseph (1992). Conversations with Arrau. Limelight Editions. p. 333. ISBN 0879100133.
- Kozinn, Allan. "Garrick Ohlsson, Chopin expert sets his sights on Liszt". New York Times. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- "FOG Trio Artist Profile". St. Paul Sunday. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- "Garrick Ohlsson Discography". Allmusic. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- "Marathon Men – Two Complete Beethoven Sonatas Projects to Achieve Completion during 2009 | Piano Street's Classical Piano News". www.pianostreet.com. Retrieved 2015-11-17.
- Dubal, David (1984). Reflections from the Keyboard. New York: Summit Books. p. 253. ISBN 978-0-671-49240-3.