Philharmonia_Vladimir Ashkenazy_Dan Grigore_Palace Hall_16.09

Palace Grand Hall
Series "Great Orchestras"
Schumann – Concerto for piano and orchestra in a minor op. 54
Shostakovich – Symphony no. 8 "Stalingrad" in c minor op. 65
.....I'll skip the first part of tonight's program in order not to say something somebody might get upset if reading. Just this. Good job for the orchestra that they managed to keep everything in one piece.
......But the second part. WOW! This is my 4th wow during this Festival, after Orchestre de Radio France with Stravinsky, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra / Joshua Bell with Lalo and Lausanne Chamber Orchestra / Christian Zacharias. This symphony is long and difficult. It was marvelous, amazing, so much care for the sound, the way the conductor built everything, they were all like one... what a brass section! the percussions (7 people)! the clarinet! the bassoon! the first violin and first cello!
......It's the third time I see Mr Ashkenazy conducting. 2008 with the European Youth Orchestra here in Bucharest, again in 2008 in Sydney, conducting the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and now.
......THAT WAS GREAT! I'm glad for those who were at the Palace Hall this evening! If you happen to be in London during the concert season, go listen to Philharmonia!In the years since Vladimir Ashkenazy first came to prominence on the world stage in the 1955 Chopin Competition in Warsaw he has 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 will take 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, 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.
......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.
Dan Grigore
Dan Grigore and Vladimir Ashkenazy

Mr Ashkenazy received the "Cultural Order" from our Minister of Culture, Mr Paleologu, as a symbol of recognition of his work in the field of music, in the name of the Presidency of the Republic.

Philharmonia and its magician
......Now please listen to them:
......Philharmonia cunducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen at BBC Proms 2006 - "Promenade" - "The Old Castle" - Pictures at an Exhibition - Modest Mussorgsky/orch. Ravel

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