The impossibly prolific Vladimir Ashkenazy…

VladimirAshkenazy One of the most widely recorded classical performers of the 20th century, Vladimir Ashkenazy is renowned for his performances of Romantic and Russian composers.

He has recorded Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier; the complete 24 Preludes and Fugues of Shostakovich; the complete sonatas by Beethoven and Scriabin; the complete works for piano by Rachmaninoff, Chopin and Schumann; and seven of Liszt's 12 Transcendental Études. He has also recorded the piano concertos of Mozart (conducting from the keyboard with the Philharmonia Orchestra); Beethoven (with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Sir Georg Solti; with Zubin Mehta and the Vienna Philharmonic; and conducting from the piano with the Cleveland Orchestra); Bartók (with Solti and the London Philharmonic Orchestra); Prokofiev (with André Previn and the London Symphony Orchestra); and Rachmaninoff (with André Previn and the London Symphony Orchestra, and with Bernard Haitink and the Concertgebouw Orchestra). He has also performed and recorded chamber music.

Midway through his pianistic career, Ashkenazy branched into conducting. He has particularly been praised for his recordings of orchestral works by Sibelius, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Scriabin, Richard Strauss and Stravinsky.  He was the principal conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra from 1987 to 1994, and was principal conductor of the Czech Philharmonic from 1998 to 2003. He became musical director of the NHK Symphony Orchestra in 2004.

Ashkenazy is also known for his unique habits in solo piano performance: spurning coat and tie in favor of a white turtleneck and black suit; running (not walking) on stage to the piano; and running off stage after finishing and taking his bow.

 It should come as no surprise that we have a great many examples of Ashkenazy's recorded out put, both at the keyboard and with the baton.  You can browse them all here…

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply