Vladimir Ashkenazy

Biography

Born: July 6, 1937   Country: Russia  
Vladimir Ashkenazy's father was a professional pianist, but he never taught his son. It was his mother who found Ashkenazy his first teacher at age six. His father was a non-observant Russian Jew, and his mother was a Russian of Eastern Orthodox faith. After his debut in Moscow at the tender age of eight, Ashkenazy was subsequently put on track for a musical career and enrolled in Moscow's Central Music School. His regular piano teacher there was Read more Anaida Sumbatian.

In 1955 he entered the Moscow Conservatory, studying with the great pianist Lev Oborin. In the same year he won second prize in the Fifth Warsaw International Chopin Competition. The following year he won the Gold Medal in the Brussels Queen Elizabeth International piano competition and then toured the United States in 1958. In 1961 he married an Icelandic pianist who was studying in Moscow, Sofia Johannsdottir. He won first prize in the Second Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1962, sharing that honor with British pianist John Ogden. In 1963 Ashkenazy and his wife, travelling on their Soviet passports, went to London, where he made his debut in an orchestral concert at Festival Hall, a great success. He stayed on in England and centered his life and career there, beginning a long association with England's Decca (London) records. He quickly made a reputation as one of the most brilliant pianists in the Russian tradition. In 1971 he moved with his family to Reykjavik, where he was awarded Iceland's Order of the Falcon. In 1972 he took Icelandic citizenship and later established a home base in Switzerland.

He took up the conductor's baton in the 1970s and steadily increased his activity in that sphere, becoming principal guest conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra of London (1981), music director of the Royal Philharmonic of London (1987), principal guest conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra (1987), and chief conductor of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra (1989). Between 1998 and 2003, he was the Czech Philharmonic's chief conductor, and he took up leadership of Japan's NHK Symphony Orchestra in the 2004-2005 season, while continuing as music director of the European Union Youth Orchestra. With the end of the Soviet Union, he has made triumphant return concerts in Russia.

His piano playing is bright and incisive, with clear articulation and intellectual depth that does not interfere with the production of warm feeling. He has exceptional control over tone color. Although he possesses a considerable degree of sheer strength, his excellent playing in delicate passages creates the dominant impression. His repertoire is wide-ranging, and he has recorded most of it, from Haydn to the works of the first half of the twentieth century. He has made particularly valuable recordings of the complete piano works of Chopin, Rachmaninov, and Scriabin. Other excellent series include music of Brahms, Liszt, and the complete Prokofiev concertos. As a conductor, he is highly effective in Russian music, particularly in Prokofiev, and has made the leading recording of that composer's Romeo and Juliet. He has made his own orchestration of Musorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and recorded the work in that highly effective version, in Gortchakov's orchestration, and in its original form as a piano solo. He remains active in both careers. Read less
Bach: Italian Concerto; French Overture; Aria Variata / Vladimir Ashkenazy
Release Date: 10/07/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002170202   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Complete Works for Piano / Ashkenazy
Release Date: 04/15/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002033002   Number of Discs: 11
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Browse 1-25 of 297 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Bach: Italian Concerto; French Overture; Aria Variata / Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002170202 Release Date: 10/07/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
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  • 2.
    Rachmaninov: The Complete Works
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002145102 Release Date: 09/23/2014   Number of Discs: 32
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Franz Schubert,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  André Previn,  Peter Jablonski,  Mikhail Pletnev  ... 
    Conductor:  André Previn,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Stanislaw Wislocki  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Goldner String Quartet,  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $109.98
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  • 3.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos, Rhapsody / Ashkenazy, Previn [2 CDs + 1 Blu-ray Audio]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002033502 Release Date: 07/22/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Conductor:  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $51.98
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  • 4.
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 1227072 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Gustav Holst,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Ludovico Einaudi,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Nicola Benedetti,  Craig Ogden,  Ji Liu,  Maarten Jansen  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Andrew Litton,  Neeme Järvi,  Riccardo Chailly  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici
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  • 5.
    Istvan Kertesz: The London Years
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002033602 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Walter Berry,  Christa Ludwig,  Pilar Lorengar,  Erzsébet Komlossy  ... 
    Conductor:  István Kertész
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  Brighton Festival Chorus  ... 
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  • 6.
    Rachmaninov: Complete Works for Piano / Ashkenazy
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002033002 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Franz Schubert,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  André Previn,  Vovka Ashkenazy,  Dody Ashkenazy  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 7.
    Chopin: Etudes Op. 10 & Op. 25 / Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002108 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
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  • 8.
    Itzhak Perlman - Concertos, Sonatas & More
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 5438882 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Itzhak Perlman,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Erich Leinsdorf,  André Previn,  John T. Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Juilliard String Quartet,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 9.
    Vladimir Ashkenazy & Dimitri Ashkenazy: Father & Son
    Label: Paladino Music   Catalog: 30 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Carl Eschmann,  Carl Reinecke,  Carl Nielsen,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Dimitri Ashkenazy,  Vladimir Ashkenazy
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  • 10.
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 1104380 Release Date: 12/03/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  John Newton,  César Franck,  Ludovico Einaudi,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Il Divo,  The Priests,  Einaudi,  Jonathan & Charlotte  ... 
    On sale! $46.99
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  • 11.
    Classical Music For Dogs
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001916602 Release Date: 11/25/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johann Pachelbel,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  András Schiff,  Wilhelm Kempff,  Marisa Robles  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Richter,  Karl Münchinger,  Sir G. Solti,  David Zinman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici
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  • 12.
    Decca Sound - The Analogue Years
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001934702 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 54
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Anton Bruckner,  Arnold Schoenberg,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Pascal Rogé,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Marilyn Horne,  Luciano Pavarotti  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  Sir Georg Solti,  Bernard Haitink,  Horst Stein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $169.98
    CD: $148.49
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  • 13.
    Discover... Beethoven
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001912702 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Arthur Grumiaux,  Henryk Szeryng,  Ingrid Haebler  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  Alceo Galliera,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Sir Colin Davis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Beaux Arts Trio
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  • 14.
    Discover... Tchaikovsky
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001912802 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Joshua Bell
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel,  Herbert von Karajan,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Zubin Mehta
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  • 15.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Trios / Ashkenazy, Visontay, Lidstrom
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001903402 Release Date: 09/17/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Zsolt-Tihamér Vistonay,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Mats Lidstrom
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  • 16.
    Sergey Prokofiev: Piano Sonatas 6-8 / Ashkenazy
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001888702 Release Date: 08/20/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    CD: $13.99
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  • 17.
    75 Years Ysaye & Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition [cd & Book]
    Label: Muso   Catalog: 5 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Pierre-Alain Volondat,  Wolfgang Manz,  Andrei Nikolsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Franz André,  Georgea Octors,  Edo De Waart,  Rene Defossez  ... 
    CD: $55.49
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  • 18.
    Schubert: D 946 Nos 1 & 2, Wanderer Fantasy; Schumann: Sonata No 1, Arabeske / Ashkenazy
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5101 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 19.
    Ashkenazy - 50 Years on Decca
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001820202 Release Date: 04/02/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Boris Belkin,  Daniel Barenboim,  Fou Ts'ong  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Lorin Maazel,  Uri Segal  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Wind Soloists  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 20.
    Mozart: Great Piano Concertos / Uchida, Kocsis, Lupu, Previn, Ashkenazy, Zacharias
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2001038 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Mitsuko Uchida,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Homero Francesch,  Heidrun Holtmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Jeffrey Tate,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Gerd Albrecht,  Marc Andreae  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  German Chamber Philharmonic  ... 
    DVD: $29.99
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  • 21.
    Rachmaninov Rarities / Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001808702 Release Date: 03/05/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
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  • 22.
    Chopin: Preludes; Piano Sonata No. 2
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 1103762 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
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  • 23.
    Stravinsky: Le Sacre Du Printemps - 100th Anniversary Collectors Edition [20-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001780902 Release Date: 12/11/2012   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky
    Performer:  Andrei Gavrilov,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Güher Pekinel,  Süher Pekinel  ... 
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti,  Riccardo Chailly,  Pierre Boulez,  Valery Gergiev  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Detroit Symphony Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra,  Kirov Theater Orchestra  ... 
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  • 24.
    Eugene Ormandy Conducts 20th Century Classics
    Label: Sony (Nax615)   Catalog: 417202 Release Date: 11/06/2012   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Gustav Holst,  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Van Cliburn,  Isaac Stern  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Mendelssohn Club Chorus Philadelphia,  Rutgers University Chorus
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  • 25.
    Solti Conducts Bartok
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001746002 Release Date: 10/16/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Leó Weiner,  Zoltán Kodály
    Performer:  Alexandru Agache,  Tamás Daróczy,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Kyung-Wha Chung  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra Strings,  Hungarian Radio/TV Chorus  ... 
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