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Vladimir Ashkenazy

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Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Major, Op. 102 : Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Major, Op. 102 - II. Andante Cristina Ortiz, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Vladimir Ashkenazy 07:28
Chopin: Mazurka No. 1 In F Sharp Minor Op. 6 No. 1 Vladimir Ashkenazy 03:14
13 Preludes, Op. 32 : Rachmaninoff: 13 Preludes, Op. 32 - No. 1 in C Major (Allegro vivace) Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sergei Rachmaninov 01:17
Beethoven: Bagatelle in A Minor, WoO 59 "Für Elise" Vladimir Ashkenazy 02:58
10 Preludes, Op. 23 : Rachmaninoff: 10 Preludes, Op. 23 - No. 5 in G Minor (Alla marcia) Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sergei Rachmaninov 03:48
Piano Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, Op. 57 "Appassionata" : Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, Op. 57 "Appassionata" - 3. Allegro ma non troppo Vladimir Ashkenazy 07:30
10 Preludes, Op. 23 : Rachmaninoff: 10 Preludes, Op. 23 - No. 2 in B-Flat Major (Maestoso) Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sergei Rachmaninov 03:27
Chopin: Mazurka No. 23 in D Major, Op. 33 No. 2 Vladimir Ashkenazy 02:03
Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major, K. 467 : Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major, K. 467: II. Andante Vladimir Ashkenazy, Philharmonia Orchestra 07:54
Chopin: Variations sur un air national allemand - "Der Schweizerbub" Vladimir Ashkenazy, Frédéric Chopin 07:35

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Biography

Six times Grammy Award winning pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy grew up in Gorky in the Soviet Union, the son of well known Russian composer David Ashkenazy and the actress Yevstolia Grigorievna. As a student he won numerous prestigious classical music competitions including the coveted International Tchaikovsky Competition. This was during the height of the Cold War and like many artists who had the opportunity to travel to foreign countries, the young Ashkenazy was put under pressure from the KGB to spy on his hosts, something Ashkenazy was reluctant to do.

Ashkenazy had a difficult relationship with the Rusian authorities and eventually he left the USSR permanently, relocating to London in 1963 before eventually becoming an Icelandic citizen when he married Icelandic classical pianist Þórunn Jóhannsdóttir. Ashkenazy has a versatile command of a wide-ranging piano repertoire and has recorded many solo works as well as numerous piano concertos. He is known for his trademark white turtle-neck sweater worn during live performances, eschewing the more traditional concert pianist's attire of bow tie. As well as his obvious talents as a pianist Ashkenazy is also a respected conductor and was principal conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra from 1987 to 1994.

In July 2013 he was appointed director of the Accademia Pianistica Internazionale di Imola, with whom his recordings as a conductor include the complete symphonies of Sibelius and of Rachmaninoff as well as orchestral works by Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Stravinsky. From 2004 to 2007 he served as music director of the NHK Symphony Orchestra and was chief conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra from 2009 to 2013.

Loyal to Decca Records throughout his career, the label chose to honour him in 2013, on his 50th anniversary with them, by releasing 'Vladimir Ashkenazy: 50 Years on Decca' which featured 50 of Ashkenazy's recordings as both a pianist and a conductor. In 2017, to mark his 80th birthday, Decca released the 'Complete Piano Concerto Recordings' and 'Ashkenazy on Vinyl'.