Saleem Abboud Ashkar
Born in 1976 in Nazareth, Saleem Abboud Ashkar (piano) studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London (where he has been appointed as “Associate” in 2004) with Maria Curcio and at the Hochschule fьr Musik und Theater in Hanover with Professor Arie Vardi. It was Zubin Mehta who discovered the young pianist and engaged him, aged 17 years, as soloist with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra to play Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto.
Since then he appears regularly with the major Israel orchestras. Besides the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra he has played with the Israel Chamber Orchestra, the Jerusalem Camerata, as well as the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra; with the latter he has performed in several live broadcasts including the opening concert of the Third Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival. Saleem made his Carnegie Hall debut in New York under Daniel Barenboim, appeared with the Chicago Symphony and the Staatskapelle Berlin before he turned 22.
He has since performed with conductors Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Lawrence Foster, Sebastian Weigle and Vladimir Fedoseyev and given recitals in Berlin, Frankfurt, Florence, Brussels, Oslo, at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, at Chicago's Symphony Hall, at the Klavier-Festival Ruhr (where he was awarded the prize of “the young talent” of the year), at the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, the Morgenland Festival Osnabrueck and at the piano festival La Roque d'Anthйron in France.
He performed with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under Zubin Mehta in Paris, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, played Richard Strauss' Burleske at the Richard-Strauss-Tage in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, was a guest at London's BBC Proms, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, and with Milan's Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala conducted by Riccardo Muti. (with live TV transmission). Other important appearances included Berlin where he played Mozart K. 271 and Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2 at the State Opera, a concert with the Deutsches Kammerorchester at the Philharmonie in Berlin, concerts at the Thйвtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, a series of concerts in Barcelona conducted by Lawrence Foster, the opening concert of the Sevilla Biennale, a recital at the Menton Festival (France) and concerts with the Gulbenkian Orchestra at the Sintra & Evora Festival in Portugal.
In 2006 he made his Salzburg debut at the Mozart-Woche with the Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Manfred Honeck; played a solo recital at the Mozarteum, and appeared at the Summer Festival with the Vienna Philharmonic, conducted by Riccardo Muti. He was invited to play at the Ravinia and Risшr Festival in Norway, followed by a week at the Jerusalem Chamber Music Festival. At the beginning of the season 2006/07 he played with the Berlin Konzerthaus Orchestra and his debut with Birmingham Symphony Orchestra is scheduled for November. 2007 he will appear with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and with the Israel Philharmonic both in Tel Aviv (under Riccardo Muti) and on tour (under Zubin Mehta) in Amsterdam and Copenhagen.
His debut recital CD (EMI Classics) appeared in October 2005.