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
Browse 1-25 of 217 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Ashkenazy plays Chopin: Sonata No 3, Barcarolle, Waltzes, Mazurkas, Etudes Op 10
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1281 Release Date: 01/22/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
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  • 2.
    Brahms: Piano Trios Opp. 8, 87, & 101
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552418 Release Date: 11/20/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Lynn Harrell,  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    CD: $14.99
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  • 3.
    Beethoven: Complete Piano Trios
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552369 Release Date: 11/06/2015   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Lynn Harrell
    CD: $22.99
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  • 4.
    Brahms: The Sonatas For Violin & Piano
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552407 Release Date: 11/06/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Itzhak Perlman
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  • 5.
    Tschaikovsky: Piano Trio / Perlman, Ashkenazy, Harrell
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552986 Release Date: 11/06/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Lynn Harrell,  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    CD: $11.99
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  • 6.
    Itzhak Perlman: The Complete Warner Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552439 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 77
    Composer:  Niccolň Paganini,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Ray Still,  Samuel Sanders  ... 
    Conductor:  Lawrence Foster,  Daniel Barenboim,  Itzhak Perlman,  Bernard Haitink  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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    CD: $287.49
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  • 7.
    Sibelius: Complete Songs
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002376202 Release Date: 09/18/2015   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Tom Krause,  Carlos Bonell,  Irwin Gage,  Elisabeth Söderström  ... 
    CD: $68.99
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  • 8.
    Tchaikovsky: Masterworks Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002362102 Release Date: 09/04/2015   Number of Discs: 27
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Rosemarie Lang,  Anne Sofie von Otter,  Ruthid Engert-Ely,  Mirella Freni  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Seiji Ozawa,  Mikhail Pletnev  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Staatskapelle Dresden,  Tchaikovsky Choir,  French National Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $78.99
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  • 9.
    The Perlman Sound
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 551699 Release Date: 08/28/2015   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Samuel Sanders,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Daniel Barenboim,  Eugene Ormandy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 10.
    Itzhak Perlman - Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002298802 Release Date: 05/26/2015   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Alban Berg,  Igor Stravinsky,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Ernest Chausson  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Daniel Barenboim,  Myor Rosen  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa,  Daniel Barenboim,  Zubin Mehta,  James Levine  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
    CD: $108.49
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  • 11.
    Scriabin: The Complete Works
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002280502 Release Date: 04/07/2015   Number of Discs: 18
    Composer:  Alexander Scriabin,  Alexander Nemtin
    Performer:  Valentina Lisitsa,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Gordon Fergus-Thompson,  Vovka Ashkenazy  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel,  Igor Golovchin,  Valery Gergiev,  Eliahu Inbal  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Moscow Symphony Orchestra,  Kirov Theater Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $75.49
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  • 12.
    Decca - Vienna Philharmonic - The Orchestral Edition
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002227902 Release Date: 12/09/2014   Number of Discs: 65
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Tom Krause,  Werner Krenn,  Elly Ameling,  Werner Tripp  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Monteux,  Herbert von Karajan,  Karl Münchinger,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Singverein  ... 
    CD: $181.49
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  • 13.
    Mozart On Tour-14 Piano Concertos & 13 Documentaries
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2001024 Release Date: 11/18/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Dezsö Ránki,  Radu Lupu,  Zoltán Kocsis,  Heidrun Holtmann  ... 
    Blu-ray Video: $68.99
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  • 14.
    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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  • 15.
    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  ... 
    CD: $117.99
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  • 16.
    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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  • 17.
    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  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $64.49
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  • 18.
    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
    CD: $78.99
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  • 19.
    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
    CD: $18.99
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  • 20.
    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  ... 
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  • 21.
    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
    CD: $18.99
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  • 22.
    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,  Andras Schiff,  Wilhelm Kempff,  Marisa Robles  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Richter,  Karl Münchinger,  Sir Georg Solti,  David Zinman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici
    CD: $8.99
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  • 23.
    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  ... 
    CD: $181.49
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  • 24.
    Discover... Beethoven
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001912702 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Arthur Grumiaux,  Ingrid Haebler,  Henryk Szeryng  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  Alceo Galliera,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Sir Colin Davis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Beaux Arts Trio
    CD: $6.99
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  • 25.
    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
    CD: $6.99
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