Vladimir Ashkenazy was born on july 6, 1937 at the Russian Gorky and lived from 1943 in Moscow. After the war he studied at the conservatory there first with Lew Oborin, abolished in 1955 the second prize at the Chopin Competition in Warsaw and the following year the 1st place at the Brussels Concours Reine Elisabeth. the international concert scene became aware of him Through these Awards and he received invitations to tours of the US and Canada. In 1962, he turned again to the all-Russian competition and won the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, a few months later he and his family emigrated to the West. He settled first in 1963 in London down, moved his residence in 1968 to Iceland and lived in Switzerland since 1982nd
Ashekanzys career can be divided into two phases divide that in the seventies flow into each other over Gingen. During the first years he entered mainly as a pianist in appearance and realized with several spectacular concert and recording projects. Preferred partner this time was the violinist Itzhak Perlman, with which he recorded all the Beethoven violin sonatas on records. Also a comprehensive undertaking was the complete recording of the 32 piano sonatas Beethoven mid-sixties for the BBC. After he had settled in Iceland in 1968, he served in addition to the usual concert tours initially for two years as artistic director of the Reykjavik Festival. From the beginning of the seventies to but he turned increasingly to his second career as a conductor.
Ashkenazy was music director of the Royal Philharmonic (1987 to 1994) and principal guest conductor of the Cleveland (1988 to 1994) and the Philharmonia Orchestra. He also starred as a guest conductor at the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony and the Concertgebouw and worked regularly with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic together. Until the end of June 1999, he served as Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, a position he has held since 1989th Beginning in 1998 he took over as chief conductor directing the Czech Philharmonic.
In the course of more than dreieinhab decades in which Vladimir Ashkenazy is at Decca under exclusive contract, he has held many important works of the piano repertoire on disc, including many pieces by Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev and Scriabin, as well as conducting works Mozart to Berg, Schoenberg and Stravinsky. Many of his piano recordings have become reference images that excite the critics because of their furious game art, musical mastery and sound aesthetic beauty. For Ashkenazy's love and enthusiasm for music can be felt in all of his work, regardless of whether he is approaching a pianist or a conductor's compositions.
A few examples: His Rachmaninov piano concertos with Andre Previn and the London Symphony Orchestra were described by the Penguin Guide to Compact Discs with the following words: "The individuality of the solo presentation, supplemented by the poetry of Previn's accompaniment, are extremely worth listening ... one of great achievements Ashkenazy. " For Rhapsody over a Theme of Paganini said Gramophone she was "enchanting from beginning to end." . About Ashkenazy version of Piano Sonata No. 2 by Chopin said: "of the highest majesty, power and great eloquence, but also full of poetry - the lecture in the middle section of the slow movement is exquisite." (Penguin Guide). The recordings of the Beethoven violin sonatas with Itzhak Perlman are among the best sellers in the classical CD segment and are considered one of the most accomplished recordings of these works at all.
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