“Ashkar’s is an art that disguises art and his performances are among the finest in the catalogue.“
Gramophone Magazine, Decca
“He captures just the right balance of clarity, swiftness of attack, poetry and élan: every note shines with sun-reflecting clarity as the finales whirl along.”
BBC Music Magazine
Sonata no. 1 f moll, op. 2
Sonata no. 13 Es dur, op. 27 („Quasi una fantasia”)
Sonata no. 27 e moll, op. 90
Sonata no. 21 C dur, op. 53 („Waldstein“)
Sonata no. 2 A dur, op. 2
Sonata no. 12 As dur, op. 26
Sonata no. 24 Fis dur, op. 78
Sonata no. 31 As dur, op. 110
Sonata no. 4 Es dur, op. 7
Sonata no. 14 cis moll, op. 27 („Moon sonata“)
Sonata no. 25 G dur, op. 79
Sonata no. 30 E dur, op. 109
Sonata no. 6 F dur, op. 10
Sonata no. 23 f moll, op. 57 („Appassionata“)
Sonata no. 10 G dur, op. 14
Sonata no. 32 c moll, op. 111
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Following from the successful first series in 2016–7, the 2017–8 season will offer a second series to conclude the masterly concert performances of the complete Beethoven piano sonatas in a number of exceptional recitals by one of the most distinctive contemporary pianists of the world.
Ashkar plays Beethoven’s music with a rare commitment of energy and yet with a certain humble gravity. I am sure that if all of his subsequent concerts in the Beethoven Residency series continue in the same vein, Ashkar’s aforesaid test will result in the greatest possible personal satisfaction for the player and the sincerest admiration from the audience. I think that few people are currently able to perform Beethoven’s sonatas in such detail while providing such complexity casopisharmonie.cz, october 2016
More about Beethoven Residency:
Saleem Ashkar's third disc with Decca is a double CD featuring Beethoven Sonatas Nos. 3, 5, 14 Moonlight & 30. This is the first of four discs due to be released throughout 2017/18 season that will cover the complete Beethoven Sonata Cycle. This first disc coincides with the culmination of Saleem’s complete Beethoven Sonata Cycle presented by the Konzerthaus in Berlin and in Prague.
At just 17 years of age, this Nazareth-born pianist was discovered by Zubin Mehta, and his young talent was given a chance to shine with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. At 22, he made his debut at Carnegie Hall in New York, where he established himself as one of the most important contemporary pianists. Saleem Ashkar is a frequent guest of the world‘s greatest orchestras and festival stages, performing with conductors such as Barenboim, Mehta, Chailly and Eschenbach and with orchestras including the Vienna Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony and Filharmonica della Scala. He has been recording for Decca since 2013. Saleem is an ambassador of the Music Fund (www.musicfund.eu), which supports the development of musicians and music schools in conflict zones and developing countries.
More at www.saleemashkar.com
Making the world’s best upright and grand pianos was the intention of Carl Bechstein, the visionary entrepreneur who founded the company in Berlin in 1853. Discover top-of-the-
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Saleem Ashkar will again fill the halls of the St Agnes Convent in Prague with the sound of the D 282 grand piano, the hallmark instrument of C. Bechstein, the renowned piano firm, which prepared the Saleem Ashkar Beethoven Residency in cooperation with the National Gallery in Prague.
This is a festive occasion for the audience – to witness the realisation of such a comprehensive concert series. Arthur Schnabel in the 1940s and Alfred Brendel 40 years later – those are two artists who made their mark in the world concert history by performing the complete Beethoven sonatas. The latter was the first pianist in history to begin recording the complete piano works of Ludwig van Beethoven. In 1982–3 Brendel performed a Beethoven series of 32 sonatas at 77 recitals in 11 major cities around the world, including New York’s Carnegie Hall.
The star of Saleem Ashkar, that brilliant and thoughtful Israeli-Palestinian artist from Nazareth, shines ever brighter. His interpretations of Beethoven’s oeuvre have garnered various international awards, but his repertoire comprises numerous other composers, and he is also preparing to tackle another master of piano literature – Robert Schumann. Already as a child, Saleem decided he would be a pianist, despite never having seen anyone even play the instrument. Thanks to the understanding and support of his parents, who were not musicians themselves, he received basic musical education. His talent and perseverance led him all the way to a debut performance at Carnegie Hall with Daniel Barenboim at the age of 22 and subsequently secured him a clear place among the best pianists of the world.
For Ashkar, Beethoven is a musical revolutionary and a visionary rolled into one: ‘As well as playing, I wanted to explore the context in which the works were written – how they were perceived in Beethoven’s time and how they were perceived later.’ Over a period of almost 30 years between 1793 and 1822, Beethoven composed a total of 32 fascinating pieces dedicated to the piano, in which we find a bridge between classicism and romanticism, as well echoes of the time and of the composer’s troubled life. The piano works became a staple of concert programmes only after Beethoven’s death, with the improvement in instrument technology and with the advent of a new breed of piano virtuosi in the second half of the 19th century. Saleem Ashkar brings this proud tradition into the 21st century. He presented his Beethoven cycle last summer at several concerts in Israel, and besides his Prague series, his plans for the coming season include performances at the Konzerthaus in Berlin and the Morgenland Festival in Osnabrück.
During the first part of the Beethoven Residency series in the season of 2016–7, Saleem Ashkar presented the following Beethoven sonatas at the St Agnes Convent in Prague:
3. 10. 2016
Sonata no. 3 C dur, op. 2
Sonata no. 17 d moll, op. 31 („Bouře“)
Sonata no. 22 F dur, op. 54
Sonata no. 28 A dur, op. 101
12. 12. 2016
Sonata no. 5 c moll, op. 10
Sonata no. 16 G dur, op. 31
Sonata no. 11 B dur, op. 22
Sonata no. 15 D dur, op. 28 („Pastor.ln.“)
6. 2. 2017
Sonata no. 9 E dur, op. 14
Sonata no. 18 Es dur, op. 31
Sonata no. 29 B dur, op. 106 („Hammerklavier“)
3. 4. 2017
Sonata no. 7 D dur, op. 10/3
Sonata no. 8 c moll, op. 13 („Patetick.“)
Sonata no. 19 g moll, op. 49/1
Sonata no. 20 G dur, op. 49/2
Sonata no. 26 Es dur, op. 81a („Les adieux“)
I. Category CZK 550 / CZK 1700 for
the whole cycle (4 concerts)
II. Category CZK 350 / CZK 1100 for
the whole cycle (4 concerts)
Students CZK 100