Personalities | Vladimir Ashkenazy | Contemporary | Classical
Russian pianist and conductor
Ashkenazy studied at the Central School of Music and the Moscow Conservatory. He won second prize at the Chopin Competition in Warsaw in 1955, first prize at the Queen Elizabeth Competition in Brussels in 1956, and joint first prize at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1962. His London debut came in 1963 and since then he has given recitals and concerto performances all over the world and has made many recordings including the complete Mozart, Beethoven and Rachmaninov concertos.
Since the 1970s he has had a parallel career as a conductor and has held the positions of principal guest conductor with the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra, music director with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and chief conductor and music director with the Deutches Symphonie-Orchester in Berlin. He has also made guest appearances with a number of orchestras. He was chief conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra 1998–2003 and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra 2009–13. He is conductor laureate of the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and music director of the European Union Youth Orchestra.
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