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Vladimir Ashkenazy & Kremerata Baltica


Vladimir Ashkenazy

To the City and the World
Legendary Musicians

Tuesday, 2005 May 3rd, 19 PM, Latvian National Opera

Vladimir Ashkenazy & Kremerata Baltica


Conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy
Soloist Vladimir Ashkenazy (piano)

Mozart – Piano concerto No. 9, K.271
Mendelssohn-Bartholdy – Octet op.20 (arrangement for string orchestra)

For the first time in Riga the famous maestro Vladimir Ashkenazy performs two roles - a pianist and a conductor.

Vladimir Ashkenazy

Vladimir Ashkenazy has often been quoted as saying that for him music is indivisible. This conviction is borne out by his passionate engagement with so many different aspects of music-making, whether as conductor, piano recitalist or chamber musician or as the architect of large-scale projects encompassing the full range of musical activities.

The first part of his long life as a musician was devoted to the piano. Building on the foundation of his studies at the Central School of Music and Moscow Conservatoire and his success in winning second prize at the Chopin Competition in Warsaw in 1955 and first prizes in the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels in 1956 and the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1962, he spent three decades touring the great musical centres of the world, performing an ever-growing repertoire in recitals and concerts and appearing with chamber music partners such as Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Lynn Harrell, Elisabeth Soederstroem, Barbara Bonney and Matthias Goerne. During this time he built up one of the largest and most comprehensive recording catalogues of our day, encompassing almost all the major works of the piano repertoire.

From the 1970s Ashkenazy became increasingly active as a conductor, making guest appearances with some of the world's finest orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Philadelphia and Concertgebouw Orchestras. He has held positions over the years with the Philharmonia Orchestra (Principal Guest Conductor), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (Music Director), Cleveland Orchestra (Principal Guest Conductor) and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (Chief Conductor and Music Director). From 1998 to 2003 he held the position of Chief Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom he undertook a broad range of tours, recordings and special projects including a major Prokofiev-Shostakovich series in Cologne, New York and Vienna in spring 2003.

Vladimir Ashkenazy took up the position of Music Director of the NHK Symphony Orchestra in September 2004. He undertook a short tour of Europe with the orchestra in July 2004, and future plans include tours of Europe in October 2005 and of the USA in autumn 2006, along with plans to record works by Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven.

His continuing close relationship with the Philharmonia Orchestra, of which he is now Conductor Laureate, has resulted in a number of high profile projects in London and abroad, including a three-concert Rachmaninoff Festival at Lincoln Center in New York, a tour of Moscow and Japan in Autumn 2002, and in Spring 2003 a four-concert series at the South Bank marking the 50th anniversary of Prokofiev’s death, exploring the relationship between the music of both Prokofiev and Shostakovich and communist dictatorship. 2003 saw them on the road again with a major tour including Australia, Taiwan and Singapore.

Ashkenazy also holds the positions of Music Director of the European Union Youth Orchestra, with whom he tours each season, and Conductor Laureate of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra.

Vladimir Ashkenazy also continues to perform as pianist throughout Europe, Asia and America and to add to his recording catalogue with major releases such as the critically-acclaimed complete Shostakovich Preludes & Fugues, winner of the 1999 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without orchestra). His most recent recording of Shostakovich piano works, which includes Second Sonata, has been nominated for a Grammy Award in the same category.

2004/05 season // Harrison Parrott


Founded in 1997 by the renowned violinist Gidon Kremer, the Grammy-award winning chamber orchestra Kremerata Baltica is already considered one of the most prominent international ensembles in Europe and beyond. Although it originally began as a "birthday present to myself" to celebrate his 50 years of life in 1997, Gidon Kremer immediately envisaged the potential behind the 27-member ensemble of young musicians drawn from the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as a medium to share his rich artistic experience with the new generation and, at the same time, to promote and inspire the musical and cultural life of the Baltics.

Having opted to make the world their permanent home, Kremerata Baltica annually performs about 60 concerts during six annual tours throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Regular performances in Vienna, Berlin, Paris, London, Moscow, and New York in the greatest halls are followed by appearances at renowned music festivals such as Salzburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Verbier, Dresden, the Prague Spring and the BBC Proms in London.In addition to its performances as a full chamber orchestra, Kremerata Baltica also shines in ingeniously-programmed chamber music performances under the label Kremerata Musica with small- to medium-sized formations comprised of members of the group.

Naturally, the musical scene of the Baltics is of great importance to Kremerata Baltica. Supported by a joint-program of the Ministries of Culture of all three countries, numerous performances are held every year in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. While the majority of the concerts are led by and performed with Gidon Kremer, Kremerata Baltica has appeared with celebrated conductors and soloists such as Jessye Norman, Oleg Maisenberg, David Geringas, Boris Pergamenschikow, Tatiana Grindenko, Sir Simon Rattle, Christoph Eschenbach, Kent Nagano and Esa-Pekka Salonen.

Programming and performing an unusually extensive and versatile repertoire, Kremerata Baltica give much importance to contemporary music. The ensemble regularly performs music of living Eastern European composers and has commissioned new works by Pärt, Kancheli, Vasks, Desyatnikov, and Raskatov.

With the Nonesuch Records label, Kremerata Baltica has made seven recordings under the label, one of which "After Mozart" received the Grammy Award in 2002 from the Recording Academy in the United States ("Classical Music: Best Small Ensemble Performance"). Their last Nonesuch recording, "Russian Seasons," was released last year. Their first recording with Deutsche Grammophon, "Kremerland," including contemporary works dedicated to and premiered by the ensemble, was recently released.

Concert takes place:

Date, time, place


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03.05.2005  19:00
Latvian National Opera

Vladimir Ashkenazy & Kremerata Baltica
VIVA MOZART! For the first time in Riga the famous maestro Vladimir Ashkenazy performs two roles - a pianist and a conductor. Program: Mozart – Piano concerto No. 9, K.271. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy – Octet op.20.


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