Ashkenazy waives fee for free concerts in troubled Hong Kong

Posted on: October 24, 2014

“A world-class conductor has waived his undisclosed but substantial performance fee for two free concerts ‘as a special gift to Hong Kong,’ ” reports Oliver Chou in Friday’s (10/24) South China Morning Post (Hong Kong). “Vladimir Ashkenazy, one of the most recorded classical pianists and conductors, will direct the Hong Kong Philharmonic to perform two free concerts tonight and tomorrow.… All 1,600 tickets were snapped up shortly after registration opened last week. ‘All I want to do is to be of service and do something for the city, for the country and for the situation. It’s just natural,’ he said before a rehearsal.… The two concerts were scheduled after the cancellation of the 4th Hong Kong International Piano Competition originally scheduled for this month, with Ashkenazy as chair of the jury and the Hong Kong Philharmonic as the accompanying orchestra.… ‘There is a very important reason for me to conduct for free because your situation is rather complicated now, and that’s why I hope to bring about an atmosphere of generosity through music and the spiritual value in it.… I lived in the Soviet Union. I know how difficult politics can be. But nothing is hopeless. One can always try,’ he said.”

Posted October 24, 2014