Ashkenazy Observed: Episodes from the Life of a Wandering Musician

A documentary by Christopher Nupen

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Vladimir Ashkenazy — Pianist


Daniel Barenboim — Conductor

Itzhak Perlman — Violinist

Lynn Harrell — Cellist

Program notes

A pianist of dazzling technical ability and unimpeachable artistry, a conductor of international renown and astonishing range, a thoughtful and private individual who seeks solitude and the beauty of nature rather the limelight of fame—Vladimir Ashkenazy has astounded and fascinated audiences since he burst onto the classical scene with prizes at the International Chopin Competition in 1955 (still just a teenager) and the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1962.

With interviews and concert footage shot over twenty years, Christopher Nupen gives a glimpse at the life and artistic development of one of the most important artists of our time. With guest appearances by Itzhak Perlman, Lynn Harrell, and Daniel Barenboim, watch Ashkenazy perform and conduct repertoire by Franck, Mozart, Stravinsky, Respighi, Mussorgsky, Sibelius, and Beethoven (whose remarkable Piano Sonata Op. 109 concludes the documentary in a glorious full performance).

A closer look: featured composers

Further listening: featured works

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