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Vladimir Ashkkenazy
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Musician
    (July 6, 1937- )
    Born in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
    Classical pianist and conductor
    Recordings include Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, Bach's French Suites, Mozart's complete piano concertos, and Beethoven's complete piano concertos
    Recorded Beethoven's complete violin sonatas with Itzhak Perlman
    Conducted the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (1987-94), the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra (1998-2003) and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (2009-13)
    Became a citizen of Iceland (1972)
    He claims his hands actually are not well suited for a pianist: 'My fingers since birth are built in such a way I can hardly play. I need to practice quite a lot -- still -- simply to play certain passages that for other players are easy to do.'
    He prefers to sprint on and off stage rather than walk.
    He sometimes uses the conductor's baton as a backscratcher.
    He defected from the Soviet Union while on a tour a Britain (1967).
    He was a founder of the Reykjavik Arts Festival (1970).
    He won five Grammys.
    He has been married to Thorunn 'Dody' Johannsdottir for over fifty years.
    He also had a golden anniversary with his record label, recording for Decca for over fifty years.

Credit: C. Fishel


 
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