Ashkenazy, sons play for peace

Malaya, 3 March 2010

Ashkenazy, sons play for peace

WORLD renowned pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy will be performing at the Cultural Center of the Philippines on March 11 in a concert billed "Concert for a Culture for Peace". Ashkenazy will perform with his two sons, clarinetist Vovka and pianist Dmitri.

Vladimir is a giant in the classical music world, a Grammy Award winner for his classical music recordings, who built an illustrious career as a pianist and then later as a conductor of the best orchestras of the world.

Conducting has formed the largest part of his activities for the past 20 years. Formerly Chief Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic (1998 to 2003), and Music Director of NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo (2004 to 2007). In January 2009 he took up the position of Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor to the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. A regular visitor to Sydney over many years, he already shares a warm relationship with the Orchestra and, together, collaborate on a number of exciting projects including composer festivals, major recording projects and international touring activities.

Alongside these positions, Ashkenazy continues his longstanding relationship with the Philharmonia Orchestra of which he was appointed Conductor Laureate in 2000. In addition to his performances with the orchestra in London and around the UK each season, he tours with them worldwide, and has developed landmark projects such as ‘Prokofiev and Shostakovich Under Stalin’ in 2003 (a project which he also took to Cologne, New York, Vienna and Moscow) and ‘Rachmaninoff Revisited’ in 2002 at the Lincoln Center, New York. Ashkenazy also holds the positions of Music Director of the European Union Youth Orchestra, with whom he tours each year, and Conductor Laureate of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. He maintains strong links with a number of other major orchestras with whom he has built special relationships over the years, including the Cleveland Orchestra (of whom he was formerly Principal Guest Conductor), San Francisco Symphony and Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin (Chief Conductor and Music Director 1988-96), as well as making guest appearances with many other major orchestras around the world. He returned to conduct the Berlin Philharmonic in October 2007.

Ashkenazy said that his love affair with the orchestra began in his childhood. "I was totally fascinated by the symphony orchestra from childhood; I remember going to the Bolshoi Theatre at the age of 6 - I spent all the time listening to the orchestra in the pit, and not looking at the ballet on stage. That’s how it started. All my life I have identified with the symphony orchestra - I was delighted to play with an orchestra as a pianist, I played a lot of repertoire and amassed a tremendous collection of orchestral LPs, but I never thought I would conduct - so when the opportunity arose I thought it was a real fulfillment of my life. I’m very lucky."

For more information, CCP Music Division at 832-1125 local 1605 or the CCP Box Office at Tel. Nos. 832-1125 local 1409 and 832-3704.