Saleem Ashkar


"Performing complete cycles of all Beethoven sonatas has changed my life. One starts to look for connections; one needs two years to get close to the musical language. I've found connections encompassing all sonatas. Pablo Picasso expressed it well: I do not search – I find."
Saleem Ashkar, Osnabrücker Zeitung, August 2016
Go to Biography
Contact Katja Hippler-Gromis


Berlin based Israeli-Palestinian pianist Saleem Ashkar was born and raised in Nazareth. He completed his studies in Europe and, since making his New York Carnegie Hall debut at the age of 22 under Daniel Barenboim, is considered one of the most interesting pianists of his generation.
He performs regularly with conductors such as Riccardo Chailly, Christoph Eschenbach, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti and Daniel Barenboim and works with many of the world’s leading orchestras including the Vienna Philharmonic, the Staatskapelle Berlin, the Filarmonica della Scala, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Leipziger Gewandhaus, the NDR Hamburg, the DSO and the Konzerthausorchester in Berlin, the Accademia Santa Cecilia in Rome as well as the Mariinsky Orchestra St. Petersburg. He appears regularly in recital series and concert halls like the Concertgebouw, Wigmore Hall, the Mozarteum Salzburg, and the Wiener Musikverein, as well as at the festivals in Salzburg, the BBC Proms, in Lucerne, Ravinia, Rison, Menton and the Ruhr Klavier Festival.
„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.”Jessica Duchen, BBC Music Magazine, October 2014
Saleem Ashkar is a dedicated recitalist and chamber musician, a longstanding musical partnership was formed e.g. with Nikolaj Znaider. His current focus is a complete cycle of all Beethoven sonatas presented by the Konzerthaus Berlin in 2016/17, developed from his own idea, as well as in Israel, in Prague, at the Morgenland Festival in Osnabrück, and in Duisburg.
Highlights of the 2018/19 season include concerts with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, as well as a Tour to Japan and Recitals at venues including the Rheingau-Festival, the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie as well as the Beethovenhaus in Bonn.

In addition to his current recording project, the complete Beethoven Sonatas, his CD productions for Decca include recordings of both piano concertos by Mendelssohn with Riccardo Chailly and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, as well as Beethoven’s 1st and 2nd piano concertos with the NDR Symphony Orchestra under Ivor Bolton; for EMI he recorded a CD with Mozart, Schhubert and Brahms sonatas. As ambassador of the Music Fund, Saleem Ashkar supports musicians and music schools in conflict areas and developing countries.

2018 / 2019
This biography is to be reproduced without any changes, omissions or additions, unless expressly authorized by artist management.
Contact: Katja Hippler-Gromis



2019 / 2020

Johann Sebastian Bach:

Prelude to English Suite No. 2 BWV 807

Prelude (Ouverture) to Partita No. 4 BWV 828

Prelude in C major BWV 846 from the Well-Tempered Clavier, Vol 1

Prelude in F major BWV 856 from the Well-Tempered Clavier, Vol 1

Prelude in D minor BWV 875 from the Well-Tempered Clavier, Vol 2

Prelude in F-sharp minor BWV 883 from the Well-Tempered Clavier, Vol 2

Prelude in G major BWV 884 from the Well-Tempered Clavier, Vol 2

Prelude in G minor BWV 885 from the Well-Tempered Clavier, Vol 2


Préludes pour piano (I, II, V, VIII)


12 Préludes (Livre I)

Beethoven - Boulez

Beethoven: Sonata for piano No. 3 in C major, Op. 2 No 3

Boulez: 12 Notations

Beethoven: Sonata for piano No. 30 in E major, Op. 109

Boulez: Incises pour piano

Beethoven: Sonata for piano No. 31 in A-flat major, Op. 110


In 2019/20, the 4th album of Ashkar’s complete recording of the Beethoven sonatas  for Decca will be released. The programme:

Sonata for piano No. 9 in E major, Op. 14 No 1

Sonata for piano No. 18 in E-flat major, Op. 31 No 3

Sonata for piano No. 29 in B-flat major, Op. 106 “Hammerklavier”

Season PDF download


17:00 Uhr
Gifhorn, DE / Schloß Gifhorn
Saleem Ashkar
20:00 Uhr
Berlin, DE / Konzerthaus am Gendarmenmarkt
Saleem Ashkar, Galilee Orchestra
18:00 Uhr
Hannover, DE / Christuskirche Hannover
Galilee Orchestra, Saleem Ashkar
20:00 Uhr
Osnabrück, DE / Aula Universität
Saleem Ashkar, Galilee Orchestra
20:00 Uhr
Wiesbaden, DE / Kurhaus Wiesbaden
Saleem Ashkar, Galilee Orchestra


Beethoven: Piano Sonatas II
Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Sonata No. 6 in F major, Op. 10 No. 2
Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 "Appassionata"
Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111

Beethoven: Piano Sonatas I
Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Sonata No. 3 in C major, Op. 2 No. 3
Piano Sonata No. 5 in c minor, Op. 10 No. 1
Piano Sonata No. 14 in c-sharp minor, Op. 27 No. 2 "Moonlight"
Piano Sonata No. 30 in E major, Op. 109

Mendelssohn: Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 2
Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Ruy Blas, Op.95 - Overture to Victor Hugo's play
A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 21: Overture
A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 61: No. 1 Scherzo
A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 61: No.5 Intermezzo
A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 61: No.7 Notturno
A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 61: Wedding March

Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25
Piano Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Op. 40

Gewandhaus Orchester Leipzig
Riccardo Chailly - Conductor

Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 4
Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, Op. 15
Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58

NDR Sinfonieorchester
Ivor Bolton - Conductor

Brahms - Mozart - Schubert
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Piano Sonata No. 18 in D major, KV576

Franz Schubert
Piano Sonata in A minor, D784

Johannes Brahms
Variations and Fugue on a theme by G. F. Handel, Op. 24

EMI Classics, 2005


Encounters with Beethoven
Beethoven Recital
Mozart Piano concerto No 20 in d minor, KV466


Katja Hippler-Gromis
t: +49 (0)30 414 781 730
f: +49 (0)30 414 781 713