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 Carolin Traute-Breidenbach


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.
„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 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.

This biography is to be reproduced without any changes, omissions or additions, unless expressly authorized by artist management.
Contact: Carolin Traute-Breidenbach



2023 / 2024
Schumann and his world
Robert Schumann and the Schumann household were a source of inspiration in the German Romantic music scene.

The musical cosmos of perhaps the most fantastic and literary composer, his piano literature, chamber music, songs and literary works will be interwoven in a project over three evenings. These include his Fantasy in C major, Op. 17, Carnaval, Op. 9, works by Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann, as well as the Piano Quintet and the song cycle Frauenliebe und -leben, Op. 42.

Solo I

Beethoven: Sonata for Piano No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 “Appassionata”

or Beethoven: Sonata for Piano No. 5 in C minor, Op. 10 No. 1

Brahms: Three Intermezzi, Op. 117

or Brahms: Two Rhapsodies, Op. 79


Schumann: Kreisleriana, Op. 16

Chopin: Ballad No. 3 in A-flat major, Op. 47

Solo II

Bach: Partita for Piano No. 4 in D major, BWV 828

Schumann: Humoreske in B major, Op. 20


Debussy: 12 Préludes (Livre II)

2022 / 2023
Program I
Brahms: Two Rhapsodies, Op. 79
Schumann: Kreisleriana, Op. 16
Beethoven: Sonata No. 23 in f minor, Op. 57 “Appassionata”


Bach: Partita No. 4 BWV 828

Debussy: 12 Préludes (Livre I)

Messiaen: Préludes pour piano (I, II, V, VIII)


20:00 Uhr
DE / Düsseldorf - Eclipse
Saleem Ashkar
20:00 Uhr
DE / Düsseldorf - THE SKY
Saleem Ashkar, Boris Brovtsyn, Claudio Bohorquez, Christina Bock
20:00 Uhr
DE / Düsseldorf - SIGN!
Saleem Ashkar, Boris Brovtsyn, Claudio Bohorquez, Daishin Kashimoto, Amihai Grosz


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, KV466
Beethoven Piano Concerto, Op. 73
Galilee Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall
Beethoven Symphony No. 1, Op. 21


Carolin Traute-Breidenbach
t: +49 (0)30 414 781 745
t: +33 (0)7 73 89 03 47
f: +49 (0)30 414 781 713