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 220 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Vladimir Ashkenazy: The Solo & Chamber Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4832182 Release Date: 09/15/2017   Number of Discs: 56
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Wind Soloists
    CD: $236.49
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  • 2.
    Ashkenazy: Complete Concerto Recordings / Various
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4831752 Release Date: 08/04/2017   Number of Discs: 48
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Keith Puddy,  Fou Ts'ong,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    Conductor:  Anatole Fistoulari,  Lorin Maazel,  Kiril Kondrashin,  David Zinman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $181.49
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  • 3.
    Bach: Keyboard Concerto No. 1 - Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 2 / Ashkenazy, Zinman, London Symphony [Vinyl]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4832252 Release Date: 08/04/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Conductor:  David Zinman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    LP: $32.99
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  • 4.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 & Leonore Overture No. 3 / Solti, Ashkenazy, Chicago Symphony [Vinyl]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4832254 Release Date: 08/04/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 5.
    Mozart: Concertos Nos. 17 & 21 / Ashkenazy, Philharmonia Orchestra [Vinyl]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4832255 Release Date: 08/04/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
    LP: $32.99
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  • 6.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2 & 3 Etudes-Tableaux / Kondrashin, Ashkenazy, Moscow Philharmonic [Vinyl]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4832251 Release Date: 08/04/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
    LP: $32.99
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  • 7.
    Scriabin: Prometheus & Piano Concerto / Ashkenazy, Maazel, London Philharmonic [Vinyl]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4832253 Release Date: 08/04/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Scriabin
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers
    LP: $32.99
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  • 8.
    Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 / Maazel, Ashkenazy, London Symphony [Vinyl]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4832256 Release Date: 08/04/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    LP: $32.99
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  • 9.
    Bach: French Suites, BWV 812-817 / Ashkenazy
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002683802 Release Date: 06/30/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    CD: $21.99
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  • 10.
    The Complete Chopin: Deluxe Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002599300 Release Date: 12/16/2016   Number of Discs: 21
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Krystian Zimerman,  Jan Lisiecki,  Anatol Ugorski,  Maurizio Pollini  ... 
    Conductor:  Krystian Zimerman,  Krzysztof Urbanski,  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish Festival Orchestra,  North German Radio Elbphilharmonie Orchestra,  Beaux Arts Trio  ... 
    CD: $117.99
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  • 11.
    Mozart: The Singles
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002576902 Release Date: 11/18/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Josef Triebensee,  André Rieu
    Performer:  Andras Schiff,  Barry Tuckwell,  Joshua Bell,  Erik Smith  ... 
    Conductor:  Willi Boskovsky,  James Levine,  Sandor Végh,  Peter Maag  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Members of the Netherlands Wind Ensemble,  Amsterdam Mozart Players,  Vienna Mozart Ensemble  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 12.
    Mozart 225: The New Complete Edition
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002549202 Release Date: 10/28/2016   Number of Discs: 200
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Montserrat Caballé,  David Busch,  Amandine Beyer,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Benjamin Britten,  Trevor Pinnock,  Christopher Hogwood  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Academy of Ancient Music,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $509.49
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  • 13.
    Color Me Classical
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002528702 Release Date: 08/05/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jules Massenet,  Erik Satie,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Joshua Bell,  Pascal Rogé,  Emma Johnson,  Vladimir Ashkenazy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Music Lab Collective
    CD: $21.99
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  • 14.
    Pinchas Zukerman: Complete Recordings on DG, Decca, & Philips
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002514302 Release Date: 07/22/2016   Number of Discs: 22
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Pinchas Zukerman,  Midori,  Daniel Barenboim,  Marc Neikrug  ... 
    Conductor:  Pinchas Zukerman,  Daniel Barenboim,  Charles Dutoit,  Pierre Boulez  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra,  St. Paul Chamber Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $78.99
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  • 15.
    Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 17 & 20 / Ashkenazy
    Label: Exton   Catalog: 69 Release Date: 06/17/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto
    On sale! $52.98
    SuperAudio CD: $47.99
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  • 16.
    Shostakovich: Piano Trios Nos. 1, 2 & Viola Sonata / Ashkenazy, Visontay, Lidstrom, Menich
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002510502 Release Date: 06/17/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Mats Lidstrom,  Zsolt-Tihamer Visontay,  Ada Meinich
    CD: $21.99
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  • 17.
    The Art of Itzhak Perlman
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 518338 Release Date: 05/06/2016   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Antonín Dvorák,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Itzhak Perlman,  John Williams,  Pinchas Zukerman  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Juilliard String Quartet
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    CD: $28.49
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  • 18.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos & Paganini Rhapsody / Ashkenanzy [Vinyl]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: B002476601 Release Date: 04/22/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Conductor:  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    LP: $74.49
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  • 19.
    The Decca Sound [Repackaged Edition]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002434502 Release Date: 01/29/2016   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Claude Debussy,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Alfredo Campoli,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Cecilia Bartoli  ... 
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet,  Ataulfo Argenta,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Vladimir Ashkenazy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $181.49
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  • 20.
    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
    CD: $12.99
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  • 21.
    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: $15.99
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  • 22.
    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: $23.99
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  • 23.
    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
    CD: $15.99
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  • 24.
    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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  • 25.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos. 3 & 4 / Ormandy, Ashkenazy, Entremont, Philadelphia Orchestra
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88697712852 Release Date: 10/30/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergey Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Philippe Entremont
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    CD: $6.99
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