„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
Berlin-based Israeli-Palestinian pianist Saleem Ashkar made his Carnegie Hall debut at the age of 22 and has since gone on to establish an international career. Recent and future concerto highlights include the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, MDR Symphony Orchestra Leipzig and the St Louis, Vancouver and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestras.
He has also performed with the Wiener Philharmoniker, Royal Concertgebouw, London Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Orchestre National de Lyon and on a three week tour to Australia. Saleem has a close relationship with many leading conductors including David Afkham, Daniel Barenboim, Riccardo Chailly, Jakub Hrůša, Pietari Inkinen, Fabio Luisi, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Kazushi Ono and Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider.
A dedicated recitalist and chamber musician, Saleem has a particularly strong reputation as a Beethoven specialist and has recently performed a complete Sonata cycle in Prague, Duisburg and at the Konzerthaus Berlin. This season he will be performing a series of recitals in Copenhagen and Milan exploring the early, middle and late sonatas of Beethoven alongside other composers that were influenced by him. Other recent and future recital appearances include the Wigmore and Queen Elizabeth Halls in London, the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, the Rheingau Festival, the Beethovenhaus, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and the Musikverein Vienna.
Saleem is Artistic Director of the Galilee Chamber Orchestra, formed of students and young professionals to encourage collaboration between the Arab and Jewish communities in Israel. This orchestra has grown out of the Polyphony Foundation, founded by his brother. Saleem works with them as both conductor and soloist and recent engagements have included a tour in Germany. He is closely involved in several other education projects, including the Al-Farabi Music Academy in Berlin which he co-founded, and which works with young people who don’t have access to a musical education
Saleem’s most recent recordings have been for Decca Records. They have released the Mendelssohn Piano Concertos with the Leipzig Gewandhaus and Chailly and two Beethoven Concertos with the NDR Elbphilharmonie and Ivor Bolton. Saleem is also recording the complete Beethoven Piano Sonata cycle for Decca, the first three discs of which are already released.
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