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Vladimir Ashkenazy

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By Stephen Wigler | October 26, 1995
The young Russian Evgeny Kissin is the international sensation of the piano world. But truth is that we are living at a time when it seems impossible to keep track of the extraordinary young pianists coming from the former Soviet Union. One of the most interesting of them is Eldar Nebolsin, who is as young as Kissin, 24, and who -- according to no less an authority than Vladimir Ashkenazy -- is Kissin's equal. The young Siberian makes his debut in a program of Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Mozart, Prokofiev and Sofia Gubaidulina.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | March 7, 2007
The African-American experience in the 20th century and Japanese robotics of the 21st; starry guest artists at the National Symphony Orchestra and a salute to its outgoing music director; a festival of a cappella music and a concert series of veteran Broadway singers - that's just some of what's in store for the Kennedy Center's 2007-2008 season. "It's sure to be a great and diverse season," the center's president, Michael Kaiser, said yesterday. His announcement of the lineup was preceded by a trumpet-playing robot from Japan, heralding a two-week festival next February celebrating Japanese "culture and hyperculture."
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NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,Contributing writer | September 13, 1991
The shake-down cruise for the Naval Academy's Bob Hope Performing Arts Center is already attracting more than its share of accomplished participants.The slate of performances on the 1991-1992 Distinguished Artists Series has been announced for the 1,500-seat center in the new Alumni Hall.On Tuesday, Sept. 24, the center will be the site of "Les BalletsAfricains," the national dance ensemble of the Republic of Guinea. Some 35 dancers and musicians will present a program that will combinedance, music, drama, storytelling and a variety of other art forms.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | October 7, 1997
The title of "Playing with Fire," tomorrow night's PBS documentary about the Van Cliburn Piano Competition, may suggest otherwise, but burning out -- rather than being burned -- is the biggest problem that confronts a pianist today.For evidence, Jon Nakamatsu, the 28-year-old Californian who won first prize last June, need look no further than the careers of two pianists who appear in Washington this month. The older generation should supply role models for the young, but one doubts that Nakamatsu would want to follow the examples set by John Browning, who gives a recital tonight in the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater, or by Cliburn himself, who performs the Tchaikovsky Concerto No. 1 on Oct. 25 in a gala concert celebrating the re-opening of the center's renovated Concert Hall.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | May 28, 1995
Saint-Saens, Piano Concertos Nos. 1-5, performed by Pascal Roge and the Philharmonia Orchestra (Nos. 1 and 4), the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (Nos. 2 and 5) and the London Philharmonic Orchestra (No. 3), Charles Dutoit conducting (London 443 865-2)Although the Saint-Saens concertos are recorded with ameasure of frequency, only No. 2 has a secure place in the repertory, with No. 4 occasionally knocking on the door and No. 5 (the "Egyptian") an even more infrequent concert hall visitor. None of these pieces get the respect they deserve -- and that's a shame.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | May 29, 1994
Prokofiev, Concerto No. 2 in G minor, and Mendelssohn, Concerto in E Minor, performed by violinist Itzhak Perlman and the Chicago Symphony, Daniel Barenboim conducting (Erato 91732). Prokofiev, Concerto No. 2, performed by Perlman and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Erich Leinsdorf conducting. Prokofiev, Sonata No. 1 in F minor and Sonata No. 2 in D major, performed by Perlman and pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy (RCA Gold Seal 61454): Comparing Perlman's RCA (recorded in 1966) and Erato (recorded last spring)
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | October 7, 1997
The title of "Playing with Fire," tomorrow night's PBS documentary about the Van Cliburn Piano Competition, may suggest otherwise, but burning out -- rather than being burned -- is the biggest problem that confronts a pianist today.For evidence, Jon Nakamatsu, the 28-year-old Californian who won first prize last June, need look no further than the careers of two pianists who appear in Washington this month. The older generation should supply role models for the young, but one doubts that Nakamatsu would want to follow the examples set by John Browning, who gives a recital tonight in the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater, or by Cliburn himself, who performs the Tchaikovsky Concerto No. 1 on Oct. 25 in a gala concert celebrating the re-opening of the center's renovated Concert Hall.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | March 7, 2007
The African-American experience in the 20th century and Japanese robotics of the 21st; starry guest artists at the National Symphony Orchestra and a salute to its outgoing music director; a festival of a cappella music and a concert series of veteran Broadway singers - that's just some of what's in store for the Kennedy Center's 2007-2008 season. "It's sure to be a great and diverse season," the center's president, Michael Kaiser, said yesterday. His announcement of the lineup was preceded by a trumpet-playing robot from Japan, heralding a two-week festival next February celebrating Japanese "culture and hyperculture."
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Wigler | November 21, 1999
There are more than 70 recordings of Beethoven's Fourth Concerto currently available. Make room at the top for Helene Grimaud's new account of the piece, recorded live with Kurt Masur conducting the New York Philharmonic (Teldec 3984-26869).I think this is the most exciting interpretation of the Fourth Concerto since the Vladimir Ashkenazy-Georg Solti collaboration with the Chicago Symphony -- and that was recorded almost 30 years ago!Without eschewing lyricism, Grimaud and Masur strive for drama, and they achieve it thrillingly.
NEWS
November 25, 1992
IN THE preface to "Horowitz: His Life and Music," a masterful new biography of pianist Vladimir Horowitz by former New York Times critic Harold C. Schonberg, the author briefly discusses some gossipy exchanges he and the maestro shared regarding other pianists. Apparently Horowitz wasn't much impressed by his competition:"He did not think too highly of the culture and general musicianship of the pianists he heard," recalled Mr. Schonberg. Horowitz' judgment of his fellow artists could be devastating.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Wigler | October 26, 1995
The young Russian Evgeny Kissin is the international sensation of the piano world. But truth is that we are living at a time when it seems impossible to keep track of the extraordinary young pianists coming from the former Soviet Union. One of the most interesting of them is Eldar Nebolsin, who is as young as Kissin, 24, and who -- according to no less an authority than Vladimir Ashkenazy -- is Kissin's equal. The young Siberian makes his debut in a program of Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Mozart, Prokofiev and Sofia Gubaidulina.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | May 28, 1995
Saint-Saens, Piano Concertos Nos. 1-5, performed by Pascal Roge and the Philharmonia Orchestra (Nos. 1 and 4), the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (Nos. 2 and 5) and the London Philharmonic Orchestra (No. 3), Charles Dutoit conducting (London 443 865-2)Although the Saint-Saens concertos are recorded with ameasure of frequency, only No. 2 has a secure place in the repertory, with No. 4 occasionally knocking on the door and No. 5 (the "Egyptian") an even more infrequent concert hall visitor. None of these pieces get the respect they deserve -- and that's a shame.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | May 29, 1994
Prokofiev, Concerto No. 2 in G minor, and Mendelssohn, Concerto in E Minor, performed by violinist Itzhak Perlman and the Chicago Symphony, Daniel Barenboim conducting (Erato 91732). Prokofiev, Concerto No. 2, performed by Perlman and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Erich Leinsdorf conducting. Prokofiev, Sonata No. 1 in F minor and Sonata No. 2 in D major, performed by Perlman and pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy (RCA Gold Seal 61454): Comparing Perlman's RCA (recorded in 1966) and Erato (recorded last spring)
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,Contributing writer | September 13, 1991
The shake-down cruise for the Naval Academy's Bob Hope Performing Arts Center is already attracting more than its share of accomplished participants.The slate of performances on the 1991-1992 Distinguished Artists Series has been announced for the 1,500-seat center in the new Alumni Hall.On Tuesday, Sept. 24, the center will be the site of "Les BalletsAfricains," the national dance ensemble of the Republic of Guinea. Some 35 dancers and musicians will present a program that will combinedance, music, drama, storytelling and a variety of other art forms.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | March 17, 1997
I do not know how well or how much English the Russian conductor, Yuri Temirkanov, speaks. What I know for sure from Temirkanov's concert yesterday afternoon in Meyerhoff Hall is that the Baltimore Symphony obviously pays attention to what he does and that the results are terrific.Ravel's transcription of Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" is a piece so familiar that we scarcely hear it anymore. What made Temirkanov's account of it electrifying was not the glittering virtuosity he drew from the orchestra or the scrupulousness with which he transmitted the subtle tonal contrasts of Ravel's orchestration.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | October 19, 1999
The peak of Sunday's beautifully played recital by Lynn Harrell and Victor Asuncion -- the initial concert in this season's Shriver Hall Concert Series -- was a performance of the last of Beethoven's sonatas for cello and piano -- No. 5 in D Major (Opus 102, No. 2).Harrell has been one of the world's leading cellists for almost 30 years, and he has presumably been playing the sonatas for even longer. He made a fine recording of them about 10 years ago with pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy, but he clearly has new things to say. Harrell has always liked to work with pianists who can challenge him. And in his young Filipino-born collaborator, Asuncion, he has found a partner who stretches as well as supports him.Opus 102, No. 2 is a hard piece to bring off. It's the only one of the five sonatas for this combination of instruments with a conventional, extended slow movement.
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