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Vladimir Ashkenazy was born in 1937 in Gorky—now Nizhny Novgorod, Russia—and grew up in Moscow, where he received his education in piano at the Central Music School and at the Conservatory. He won second prize at the Chopin Competition in Warsaw in 1955 and was the winner of the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels in 1956, while in 1962 he won the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. The following year he decided he decided, while on a concert tour in the UK, to stay in England, settling first in London, and then, in 1968, in Iceland; since 1978 he has lived in Switzerland. While the first part of his career was devoted to the piano, Vladimir Ashkenazy has since the late 1970s gradually focused more and more on conducting, which now takes up the most significant portion of his time each season.From 1987 to 1994 he was Music Director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, from 1989 to 1999 he led the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, and from 1998 to 2003 he served as Chief Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic. Subsequently he was Music Director of the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo, before he was appointed to his position with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, which he has led since 2009. Vladimir Ashkenazy has moreover collaborated as guest conductor with the Cleveland Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony among many others. His numerous recordings have garnered many prizes: he has received six Grammy Awards alone, including in 2000 for his account of Shostakovich’s Preludes and Fugues, op. 84. These days he maintains his devotion to the piano mainly in the recording studio, most recently with a recording of Bach Partitas on Decca.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on August 30, 1971 in a recital of works by Schumann, and Mussorgsky.