Saleem Ashkar

Palestinian-Israeli pianist Saleem Abboud Ashkar was born 1976 in Nazareth and studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London and at the University for Music in Hanover.

He is often guest of the most important orchestras in Israel, especially at the Israel Philharmonic and Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. At the age of 22, he debuted in Carnegie Hall in New York. Among the conductors with whom he regularly plays are Daniel Barenboim, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Lawrence Foster, Zubin Mehta and Sebastian Weigle. In Mozart year 2006, he was heard at the Salzburg Festival with the Vienna Philharmonica under Riccardo Muti. Further engagements have led Saleem Abboud Ashkar to the well-known Norway Risør-Festival, Ravinia with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, France to the Menton Festival, Konzerthausorhester Berlin and Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. In 2007, Ashkar performed for the first time with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. In the 2008/09 season he played a concert again with the Gewandhausorchestra, upon invitation from Riccardo Chailly. A celebrated anthem-like recital CD was published in 2005 by EMI Classics."Many thanks to a grand piano with such a rich tone and quick-reaction attack," Ashkar wrote after a concert in Berlin about the C. Bechstein concert grand piano. Photo: Monika Rittershaus.