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November 5, 2010

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Fabled father-son piano duo

REVERED Russian conductor and pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy and his pianist son Vovka perform a piano recital on November 14 at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center.

The 73-year-old legend last performed in China in April when he conducted the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province. Most Chinese know him as a conductor.

His last piano recital in Shanghai was 30 years ago in 1979, when his performance stunned the audience with its brilliance.

Now Vladimir again performs at the keyboard, his 49-year-old son Vovka at another piano.

They will perform six pieces, including Ravel's two classic piano duos "Ma Mere L'oie" and "La Valse," Schubert's "Divertimento a l'Hongroise, Op 54," Scriabin's "Fantasy for Two Pianos Op Post" and Borodin's "Prince Igor: Polovtsian Dances."

The Ravel duos are often performed with orchestras, but the senior Ashkenazy says it would be interesting for the audience to appreciate the original.

Scriabin is well-known for his unique mysterious style in composition, which Vladimir is fond of.

"I am trying to explore the spiritual world of a composer when playing Scriabin's work," says Vladimir.

Piano duos are technically demanding and each piano evokes the sounds of a symphony orchestra. They involve symphonic thinking and conducting skills, Vladimir says.

In 2001 the father and son started touring as a piano duo and released an album in 2002. The upcoming performance will be their first joint performance in China.

"Legend of Father and Son - Ashkenazy Piano Duo"

Date: November 14, 7:30pm

Address: 425 Dingxiang Rd, Pudong

Tickets: 80-580 yuan

Tel: 400-880-2880, 5351-4036


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