LUIS ASCOT, Honorary Professor at the Conservatory of Music in Geneva (Switzerland), began studying piano at the age of five, under the direction of Poldi Mildner, in Buenos Aires, his home town. He then continued his studies with Guiomar Novaes, Magdalena Tagliaferro and Jacques Klein in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), where he lived for 8 years. In 1971, he moved to Geneva with a scholarship from the Swiss Government to work with Harry Datyner, and in 1973, he won the First Prize of Virtuosityand the Paderewski Award granted by the Conservatoire de Musique of Geneva.
His teachers were direct descendants of pianists from the Franz Liszt and Ferruccio Busoni School: Moritz Rosenthal, Theodor Szanto, Isidore Philipp and Edwin Fischer, direct heirs of those great teachers and composers; they gave LUIS ASCOT not only rigor in music reading, but also the necessary freedom to find his own personality.
LUIS ASCOT has been honored in numerous national and South American piano competitions in his home country and in Brazil, as well as in international competitions, and he has developed an uninterrupted career that has led to scenarios such as the Conservatoire Royale de Musique in Brussels, the Victoria Hall in Geneva, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Zurich Tonhalle, the Wigmore Hall in London, the Carnegie Hall and the Hunter College in New York, the Kennedy Center: Concert Hall and the Terrace Theater in Washington DC, the Assembly Hall at the United Nations in Geneva and the UNESCO in Paris, the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, and the Teatro Colón of Buenos Aires, among many others. In 1995 he carried out an extensive concert tour in India and in 2007, in China.
In 1998, at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires he played the role of The Pianist in the opera "Fedora" by Umberto Giordano; the main performers were Mirella Freni, Plácido Domingo and Sherrill Milnes.
Privileged interpreter and personal friend of the Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera, LUIS ASCOT has spread this composer’s music without interruption along his career, gaining critical acclaim for performing his piano works, and his 1st. Concerto for Piano and Orchestra Op. 28. In 2003, he made a series of concerts in numerous countries of Europe and America, in-memoriam of the Argentine composer, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of his death.
LUIS ASCOT was chosen by the Philharmonic Orchestra of Buenos Aires to play the 1st Piano Concerto by Alberto Ginastera in the "Teatro Colon Centennial Gala" (1908-2008). The same year he played the same concert at the Miami Festival, USA, as part of the tribute that the Festival dedicated to the Argentinean composer on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of his death.
He has recorded the following works for the Swiss Label Cascavelle: "Le carnaval des animaux" by Camille Saint-Saëns, "Flores Argentinas" by Carlos Guastavino, together with baritone Marcos Fink, "Música Argentina" and "Music of Brazil"; these two last CDs were re-edited by Phoenix Records (Switzerland), and recently by EPSA MUSIC (Argentina).
In 2011, the Argentinean Music Critics Association distinguished him with the Prize to Artistic Career.
LUIS ASCOT is unanimously considered by international critics as a real asset amongst the pianists of his generation.
LUIS ASCOT “A GREAT INTERPRETER OF MY WORKS”
ALBERTO GINASTERA, GENEVA 1978
SOME CRITIC’S EXCERPTS
We will certain have to wait a long time before we are able to hear again in Bonn such a magistral interpretation of Alberto Ginastera's Sonate
Fantastic interpretation of Ginastera's sonata by LUIS ASCOT at his debut in London Daily Telegraph, London
Alberto Ginastera's 1st Piano Concerto Op.28:
Ginastera demands terribly things but not for Ascot. Those who did not listen him missed a real musical pleasure.
Clarín, Buenos Aires
The tables turned drastically for Alberto Ginastera's Concerto No. 1 for Piano and Orchestra as LUIS ASCOT's potent chording and bold articulation of the asymmetric melodies lashed out at the equaly forcefull orchestra, which bared its teeth with percussive thunderclaps and savage rhythmic shifts led by the brass
Charles McCardell. The Washington Post
ASCOT, a prodigious pianist from Argentina currently based in Switzerland, played this finger-busting concerto with breath-taking brillance.One is not likely to hear the final movement, Toccata concertata, played with cleaner articulation or more relentless drive
F.Waren O’Reilly, The Washington Times
With the mechanical limitations imposed by a piano, it is difficult to make a musical phrase “sing”. And in twentieth century music, this is ever more difficult. If the piece to be interpreted is as complex and difficult as Alberto Ginastera’s Concerto No. 1, a real achievement is a “singing” quality, and that is just what LUIS ASCOT accomplishes
Víctor Bouilly, Tiempo Argentino, Buenos Aires
It seems us that this (ASCOT’S) interpretation cannot be improve upon
Napoleón Cabrera, Clarín, Buenos Aires
From the “Cadenza e variante” (first movement), LUIS ASCOT demostrated his clear conception of the work. He achieved clarity of sound with subtle gradations. The “Scherzo allucinante” in the second movement was remarkable. He finished with breathtaking virtuosity and deep feeling the Adagissimo and the “Toccata concertata”
Betty von Brunow, La Prensa, Buenos Aires
As it was expected, given Luis Ascot s admiration for the Ginastera s work, from the piano, he was able to accomplish such an enormous task, demonstrating his deep knowledge of the partition, producing, after the splendorous last movement, the public recognition moved by this suggestive and exuberant work, offered by the pianist with so great energy, enthusiasm and dedication.
Juan Carlos Montero, La Nación 23-05-08
It is necessary to pointed out, that, besides the outstanding performance of the orchestra and the musicality of the conductor Diemecke, Ascot accomplished a magnificent work, secure, sensible, flexible, with a clean digitations, bright touching and a well-constructed approach of the work. Taking into account that both of them (Ascot and Ginastera) lived in Geneva, and, as we know, the pianist frequently exchange ideas with the composer regarding how to approach such difficult concerto, this evening, the fruits of that exchange were evident.
Carlos Ernesto Ure, La Prensa 28-05-08
... But the best of the evening was the Piano Concerto No. 1, Opus 28 (by Alberto Ginastera), played by the legendary Argentinean pianist Luis Ascot. & Amongst all these talented interpreters, the star of the evening was, without any doubt, the pianist Luis Ascot, outstanding performer of Ginastera s works. The pianist possesses the tremendous energy required by the Concerto and he was the right vehicle for such tour de force, where the fury of the Malambo married with the musical harmonic structures characteristics of the European music of the middle half of the XX century. ...It is a master piece and to had experienced it under Ascot s hands with such an excellent orchestra it was an unforgettable experience that make the public offer a spontaneous standing ovation.
Daniel Fernández, The Miami Herald 04-11-08
Soloist Luis Ascot comes with the imprimatur of the Ginastera family, and the veteran Argentinian pianist clearly has an idiomatic feel for the music and the technique for its fistfuls of notes. Even so, one felt there could have been more unbridled excitement in the more bravura sections, which were kept on a firm rein. Still, Ascot made a strong case for this underperformed work, with Sleeper and the Frost Symphony Orchestra lending blazing, energized support.
Lawrence A. Johnson, South Florida Classical Review 17-11-08
LUIS ASCOT’s afternoon of piano music at Carnegie Hall on Saturday was the work of a musician who has thought long and deeply on problems of style – finding tempos and dynamics levels that allow music to speak naturally, for exemple, applying staccato and legato in a way that gives phrases intelligible shape evoking the one note within a cluster of many notes that can explain the movement of a melody or the direction of an armonic progression.
Bernard Holland, The New York Times
The pianist expresses in all its depth the great poety of Schumann’s Papillons
Neue Zurcher Zeitung, Zurich
Hearing LUIS ASCOT’s Chopin is a memorable experience.
Clarín, Buenos Aires
His skill is beyond reproach, his attacks are infinitely varied
La Suisse, Geneva
Technical precision, good digitation and above all total devotion to the clavier rejecting the tricks which others use to conquer the audience demagogically
Cronista Comercial, Buenos Aires
A beautiful technique knowing how to introduce serenity and expression…
LUIS ASCOT: A refined pianist
The Times, London
LUIS ASCOT, a pianist of limitless expresion
Cycie Warszawy, Warsaw
Ascot, Alchemy and Art…
…The encores were the only way to satisfy the audience which had fallen under the spell of Ascot’s own brand of alchemy, concocted with that rich gold dust which makes up a true artist
Abel López Iturbe, Buenos Aires Herald, Buenos Aires
LUIS ASCOT performing with he Orchestre de la Suisse Romande showed true and natural imaginative sensivity, marvellous dynamism, subtle touch with delicate musical coloration and beautiful phrasing. (Beethoven 3rd. Piano Concerto)
La Suisse, Geneva
A virtuoso interpretation for its assuredness and precision (Saint Saëns 3rd Piano Concerto)
La Prensa, Buenos Aires
Giordano’s Fedora at the Colon Theatre
Great evening for Domingo and Freni….
…It was a luxury too in having LUIS ASCOT performing the pianist Lazinski...
Armando M. Rapallo, Clarín, Buenos Aires
With Albeniz, rythms and colours, passions and dreams were born out of his hands.
La Suisse, Geneva