Having dedicated myself, for more than thirty years, to music, the piano, and piano teaching, I have always done my best to transmit my love and my understanding of music to my students, as well as to find solutions to almost all possible technical problems associated with playing this extremely complex and wonderful instrument.
Having had the fortune of being born into an extremely musical family - both my grandfathers were professional musicians, my mother a wonderful pianist, and my father a great pianist and conductor - I feel it is my duty to transmit as much as I can about music, to all those willing to listen and to learn.
My basic philosophy is as follows:
Music speaks for itself, and a piano teacher should show the student how to make the piano do everything the music requires; no need to over-intellectualize, or create concepts that do not relate directly to the music itself, such as highlighting an abstract physical movement. One must first create an idea of the desired result in the student's mind, then demonstrate the most economical means by which to achieve it. This process must never be reversed; it is necessary to first hear and understand the language before one tries to speak it. And one must reveal the beauty, not try to describe it.
I have my Studio in Pura, a small village in Ticino where Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli lived, and I strive to offer the highest level of piano and musical teaching. The prospective student will be able to benefit from a number of different options for intensive piano study:
- An eight-month course of forty hours of individual lessons, organized in two-day sessions of five hours of lessons per month.
- An eight-month course of twenty-four hours of individual lessons, organized in one or two-day sessions of three hours of lessons per month.
- A five-day intensive course of daily two-hour individual lessons.
- Freely-organized Individual lessons.
All options include free overnight accommodation, as well as breakfast, in an apartment operated by the Ashkenazy Ballet Center.
For more information, see contact details below.
ABOUT THE STUDIO
Vovka Ashkenazy, who is of Russian and Icelandic parentage, began piano lessons at the age of six with Rögnvaldur Sigurjónsson in Reykjavík, where his family lived at the time. Ten years later he went to England to study with Sulamita Aronovsky at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. He also beneﬁtted from occasional study sessions with pianists such as Leon Fleisher and Peter Frankl.
Vovka Ashkenazy made his debut in London at the Barbican Centre in 1983 with the London Symphony Orchestra under Richard Hickox, performing Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto. Since then, his career has taken him all across Europe, and to Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the Americas. He has participated in the Marlboro Festival in Vermont, as well as the Edinburgh and Spoleto festivals. Orchestras he has appeared with include nearly all the major British orchestras as well as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Australian Chamber, the Berlin Symphony, the Berne Symphony and the Zürich Tonhalle Orchestras. Conductors he has worked with include his father, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Semyon Bychkov, Martin Fischer-Dieskau and Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, at venues such as the Hollywood Bowl, the Sydney Opera House, the Sala Verdi in Milan, and the Royal Festival Hall, London.
Vovka Ashkenazy is very active as a chamber musician and has recorded a CD of Italian Music for Clarinet and Piano with Dimitri Ashkenazy, his brother, with whom he toured Japan several times. He has also performed and recorded with his father, Vladimir Ashkenazy, and their recordings for DECCA include Bartók’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion, Rachmaninoff’s Suite for Piano Four Hands, and Schumann’s Andante and Variations for Two Pianos, Two Cellos and Horn.
Further recordings on DECCA with Vladimir Ashkenazy include the 2009 release of a CD with French music for two pianos, and a 2011 release of a two-piano CD entitled Russian Fantasy, which includes transcriptions by Vovka Ashkenazy of Borodin's Polovetsian Dances, as well as Mussorgsky's Night on the Bald Mountain. A further two-piano recording, with music by Howard Blake, came out in 2013. Their two-piano concert activities have recently included performances in Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, and the UK, as well as seven tours of the Far East, the most recent being Japan in April/May 2016. Vovka Ashkenazy has also worked together with the Reykjavík Wind Quintet and has released two CDs with this ensemble on the Chandos and the Cryston (Japan) labels.
Vovka Ashkenazy devotes much of his time to teaching. He has given master classes in many countries, including China, Japan, South Korea, Europe and the United States. He was Professor of Piano at the Conservatoire Gabriel Fauré in Angoulême, France, from 1998 until 2007, when he moved to Switzerland. In addition to his post at the International Piano Academy in Imola, he also teaches on the Master of Advanced Studies in Performance and Interpretation at the Conservatory of Italian Switzerland (CSI) in Lugano, and at Kalaidos Musikhochschule in Zürich.
Vovka Ashkenazy has contributed, through performances, to several charitable causes, including Action for Children and Cystic Fibrosis Trust in the UK, Telethon in Switzerland, and the Bridges Peace Foundation in Cambodia and the Philippines. He was made Honorary Artistic Adviser of the Guangzhou Opera House in November 2010, and he is Artistic Director of the Rina Sala Gallo International Piano Competition in Monza, Italy.
He currently resides in Ticino, Switzerland, with his wife and two children.
Detailed CV here.
Seoul Arts Center - May 27th 2014, Concert with Vladimir Ashkenazy
Kirche Erlach - June 8th 2014, Concert with Dimitri Ashkenazy
Casa Camelia, Via Mistorni 57
6984 Pura, Switzerland
Tel: +41 78 850 5467
+41 91 606 5467