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
Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker;  Glazunov: The Seasons / Ashkenazy
Release Date: 04/18/2007   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 433000   Number of Discs: 2
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Browse 1-25 of 180 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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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  • 2.
    Stravinsky Complete Edition [30-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002398272 Release Date: 10/23/2015   Number of Discs: 30
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky
    Performer:  Felicity Palmer,  Ian Caley,  Phyllis Bryn-Julson,  John Tomlinson  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Riccardo Chailly,  Claudio Abbado,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $191.98
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  • 3.
    Barber, Sibelius: Violin Concertos
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002386602 Release Date: 10/16/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Joshua Bell,  Boris Belkin
    Conductor:  David Zinman,  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
    CD: $7.99
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  • 4.
    Sibelius Edition [14-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002362202 Release Date: 10/02/2015   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Johanna Rusanen-Kartano,  Esa Ruuttunen,  Soile Isokoski,  Anne-Sophie Mutter  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Okko Kamu,  Herbert von Karajan,  Jorma Panula  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Helsinki Radio Symphony,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $78.99
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  • 5.
    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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  • 6.
    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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  • 7.
    Helene Grimaud: The Complete Warner Classics Recordings
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 4622737 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Richard Strauss,  Johannes Brahms,  George Gershwin  ... 
    Performer:  Hélčne Grimaud
    Conductor:  David Zinman,  Kurt Sanderling,  Kurt Masur,  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin,  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 8.
    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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  • 9.
    Tchaikovsky & Chopin / Ingolf Wunder, Vladimir Ashkenazy, St. Petersburg Philharmonic
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002092802 Release Date: 07/15/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Ingolf Wunder
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $21.99
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  • 10.
    Strauss: Complete Tone Poems & Concertos [13-CD Collector's Edition]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002010402 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Arthur David Krehbiel,  Raymond Kobler,  Heinrich Schiff,  Jean-Yves Thibaudet  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt,  Antal Doráti,  Kurt Masur,  Vladimir Ashkenazy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  Detroit Symphony Orchestra,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra  ... 
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    CD: $64.49
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  • 11.
    Beppe: Remote Galaxy / Ashkenazy, Philharmonia Orchestra [Vinyl]
    Label: Two-l   Catalog: 2L100LP Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Flint Juventino Beppe
    Performer:  Ralph Rousseau,  Mark van de Wiel
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
    LP: $39.99
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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  ... 
    CD: $181.49
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  • 13.
    Flint Juventino Beppe: Remote Galaxy
    Label: Two-l   Catalog: 100 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Flint Juventino Beppe
    Performer:  Ralph Rousseau,  Mark Van de Wiel,  Emily Beynon
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Blu-ray Audio: $34.99
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  • 14.
    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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  • 15.
    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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  • 16.
    Chopin: Piano Masterpieces
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 2564651479 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Elisabeth Leonskaja,  Maria-Joao Pires,  Nikolai Lugansky,  Alexei Sultanov  ... 
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
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  • 17.
    Shostakovch: Execution Of Stepan Razin; Zoya Suite / Ashkenazy, Helsinki Phiharmonic
    Label: Ondine   Catalog:  1225-2 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra,  Latvian State Choir
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  • 18.
    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
    CD: $164.49
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  • 19.
    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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  • 20.
    Schumann, Dvorak: Cello Concertos / Walton, Ashkenazy, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 322 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Jamie Walton
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 21.
    50 Best Romantic Piano Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 333232 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Franz Liszt,  Frédéric Chopin,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Cécile Ousset,  Leif Ove Andsnes,  John Ogdon,  Garrick Ohlsson  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Jerzy Maksymiuk,  André Previn,  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rostal & Schaefer Piano Duo
    CD: $11.99
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  • 22.
    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  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 23.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto Nos. 1 & 3
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001742702 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergey Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    CD: $6.99
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  • 24.
    Shostakovich: Piano Concertos Nos.1 & 2; Symphony No.9
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001742202 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  Peter Jablonski,  Raymond Simmons,  Cristina Ortiz
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $7.99
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  • 25.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5; Serenade For Strings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001742102 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
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