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A Statement as Askenazy announces retirement

Vladimir Ashkenazy conduting the Philharmonia onstage

Vladimir Ashkenazy, Conductor Laureate of the Philharmonia and a long-standing collaborator with the Orchestra, recently announced that he is to step down from conducting.

Vladimir Ashkenazy made his debut with the Philharmonia, as pianist, in the 1960s; in an early project the Orchestra and Ashkenazy recorded the Mozart piano concertos.

In 1977, Ashkenazy conducted the Philharmonia for the first time, making his London debut on 3 February that year. Since he became Conductor Laureate in 2000, Ashkenazy led projects including repertoire with a Russian focus: Prokofiev & Shostakovich under Stalin (2003) and Voices of Revolution: Russia 1917 (2018), and Rachmaninov symphony cycle (2016-18), which was captured live for release by Signum Records and will be the culmination of his recording legacy with the Philharmonia.

A note from our Interim Managing Director

We at the Philharmonia would like to pay tribute to Vladimir Ashkenazy as he retires from the concert stage.

The Philharmonia has enjoyed the most extraordinary relationship with Maestro Ashkenazy over the past six decades, performing with him as both pianist and conductor across five continents in virtually every major concert hall in the world.

Beyond the amazing concerts, the Philharmonia players have a particularly special bond with ‘Vova’, as he is known, and the personal friendship is just as important to us as the musical one. We have all been touched by Vova’s warmth and humanity, which always imbue his music-making with a unique quality.

We have all been touched by Vova’s warmth and humanity, which always imbue his music-making with a unique quality.

His natural sense of phrasing and deep connection with the repertoire he has championed over the years is a huge inspiration to us all. So while we are deeply saddened that Maestro Ashkenazy will no longer perform on stage with us, his musical and personal presence will leave a lasting impression on the character of the Philharmonia, and for that we are eternally grateful.

We wish you well, Vova and look forward to seeing you in the audience at a concert soon.

Michael Fuller, Interim Managing Director