Vladimir Ashkenazy, Dimitri Ashkenazy and Vovka Ashkenazy
Vladimir Ashkenazy, Piano
first came to prominence on the world stage in the 1955 Chopin Competition in Warsaw and has since then built an extraordinary career, not only as one of the most renowned and revered pianists of our times, but as an artist whose creative life encompasses a vast range of activities and continues to offer inspiration to music-lovers across the world.
Conducting has formed the largest part of Vladimir Ashkenazy’s 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 has taken up the new 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. They will collaborate on a number of exciting projects including composer festivals, major recording projects and international touring activities.
Alongside these positions, Vladimir 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.
Vladimir 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.
While conducting takes up a significant portion of his time each season, Vladimir Ashkenazy continues to devote himself to the piano, these days mostly in the recording studio where he continues to build his extraordinarily comprehensive recording catalogue with releases such as the 1999 Grammy award winning Shostakovich Preludes and Fugues, Rautavaara’s Piano Concerto No.3 (a work which he commissioned) and Rachmaninov’s Transcriptions. Most recently released are his recordings of that most challenging and enriching of works, Bach's Wohltemperiertes Klavier and, released in June 2007, Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations.
Beyond his hectic and fulfilling performing schedule, Vladimir Ashkenazy continues to be involved in some fascinating TV projects, often inspired by his passionate drive to ensure that serious music continues to have a platform in the mainstream media and is made available to as broad an audience as possible. Many will remember his programmes with the outstanding director Christopher Nupen, including in 1979 Music After Mao, filmed in Shanghai, and the extraordinary Ashkenazy in Moscow programmes which marked his first visit in 1989 to the country of his birth since leaving the USSR in the 1960s. More recently he has developed educational programmes with NHK TV including the 1999 Superteachers working with inner-city London school children and in 2003-4 a documentary based around his ‘Prokofiev and Shostakovich Under Stalin’ project.
Dimitri Ashkenzy, Clarinet
Born in 1969 in New York, Dimitri Ashkenazy began playing the piano at the age of six and then switched to the clarinet under the tuition of Giambattista Sisini, with whom he continued studying when he entered the Conservatory of Lucerne in 1989.
Since completing his studies, he has gone on to perform widely, both as soloist and chamber musician. On tour, he has appeared at the Royal Festival Hall in London with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, at the Hollywood Bowl with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, at the Sydney Opera House with the SBS Youth Orchestra, at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and in Japan with the Japan Philharmonic, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony and Mito Chamber Orchestras.
In addition to the major concertos for the clarinet, his repertoire extends to include contemporary works such as Peter Maxwell Davies' Strathclyde Concerto No.4, which he has performed with the composer himself conducting in London, Budapest and Santiago de Compostela, and Krzysztof Penderecki's own transcription of his Viola Concerto with the composer himself conducting both in Poland and on tour in Spain. He also gave the world premiere performances of concertos by Marco Tutino (with the Filarmonici della Scala, Milan) and Filippo del Corno (with the orchestra "I Pomeriggi Musicali"), and of Peter Maxwell Davies' Clarinet Quintet "Hymn to Artemis Locheia" (with the Brodsky Quartet at the Lucerne Festival). An active chamber musician, he has performed with the Kodály and Faust Quartets and with partners such as Barbara Bonney, Helmut Deutsch, David Golub, Edita Gruberova, Ariane Haering, Antonio Meneses, Cristina Ortiz, Maria João Pires, and of course his brother Vovka and his father Vladimir Ashkenazy.
In addition to his concert activity, Dimitri Ashkenazy has made numerous CD (Pan Classics, Decca, Ondine), radio (Radio Nacional de España, France Musiques, Radio della Svizzera Italiana, DeutschlandRadio) and television recordings, and been invited to give master classes in Australia, Spain, Iceland, Switzerland, the USA and Romania. Vovka Ashkenazy, Piano
After completing his musical studies at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, Vovka Ashkenazy, who is of Russian and Icelandic parentage, made his debut in London at the Barbican Centre in 1983 with the London Symphony Orchestra under Richard Hickox, with whom he performed Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto.
Since then, Vovka Ashkenazy's career has taken him all across Europe, and to Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the Americas. He has participated in the Marlboro Festival in Vermont, as well as the Edinburgh and Spoleto festivals. Orchestras he has appeared with include nearly all the major British orchestras as well as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Australian Chamber, and the Berlin Symphony Orchestras. Conductors he has worked with include Semyon Bychkov, Martin Fischer-Dieskau and Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, at venues such as the Hollywood Bowl, the Sydney Opera House, the Berlin Philharmonic and the Royal Festival Hall, London.
Vovka Ashkenazy is very active as a chamber musician and has recorded a CD of Italian music with his brother, the clarinettist Dimitri Ashkenazy, together with whom he toured Japan in 1997, 2000 and 2002. The year 2001 saw the start of a new piano-duo partnership with Greek virtuoso pianist, Vassilis Tsabropoulos. This duo has already performed at the Piano en Valois festival and twice at the Athens Megaron. Vovka Ashkenazy has also worked together with the Reykjavík Wind Quintet and has released a CD with them on the Chandos label. A second CD is due out this year.
Alongside his concert activities, Vovka Ashkenazy also devotes his time to teaching. He has given master classes in Australia, Denmark, England, Greece, Guatemala, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the U.S. and he has recently become a member of the chamber music coaching staff at Pro Corda in the UK. He was Professor of Piano at the Conservatoire Gabriel Fauré in Angoulême, France, from 1998 – 2007.
Vovka Ashkenazy lives in Switzerland and gives regular masterclasses in Italy. SCHEDULE
Monday, March 8, 2010: 16:00 Dialogue with young Cambodian artists in Phnom Penh (Cambodia) hosted by Amrita Performing Arts, the Art Café and the Royal University of Fine Arts (not a public event)
Tuesday, March 9, 2010:
19:00 Concert at Chaktomuk Theater in Phnom Penh (Cambodia) organized by Amrita Performing Arts in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture & Fine Arts Information and ticket sales: phone (023) 220-424, fax (023) 220-425, email firstname.lastname@example.org,
Thursday, March 11, 2010: 12:00 Dialogue with young Filipino artists in Manila (Philippines) (not a public event)