It’s said that this great Chilean pianist could read music before he could read words. It wasn’t long before he was playing works like the virtuosic Transcendental Etudes by Liszt. He’s perhaps best-known for his interpretations of the music of Beethoven. The legendary conductor Colin Davis said of Arrau: “His sound is amazing, and it is entirely his own… His devotion to Liszt is extraordinary. He ennobles that music in a way no one else in the world can.”
Great piano players of history
Ashkenazy is one of the heavyweights of the classical music world. Having been born in Russia he now holds both Icelandic and Swiss citizenship and is still performing as a pianist and conductor around the world. In 1962 he was a joint winner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition (with John Ogdon, see below) and the following year he left the USSR to live in London.
Project Result & Benefits of Project
In 2012, Ban Ki-moon, Haile Gebrselassie and Doreen Lawrence were joined by the Israeli-Argentinian conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim as they carried the Olympic flag into the London stadium. Barenboim’s international fame is now partly down to his work with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra – which he founded with Edward Said and is made up of musicians from across the Middle East. But he has also produced some of the best recordings ever made and is assured a place in the history books.