The soloist will be Hong Xu, a master's student of Jerome Lowenthal at Juilliard. The native of Wuhan, China is a winner of 2006 Honens International Piano Competition and has previously studied with Li-Ping Jiang and Zhong Xu at the Wuhan Conservatory, and Douglas Humphreys at the Eastman School of Music. Xu made his orchestra debut at 16 with the Wuhan Symphony Orchestra, playing Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2.
Ashkenazy, who has stopped playing the piano publicly, was recently appointed principal conductor and artistic advisor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra for a three-year term beginning in January 2009. He finishes this summer a three-year term as the NHK Symphony Orchestra's music director.
The Juilliard event is being presented with the Rachmaninoff Society, of which Ashkenazy is president. Founded in 1990, the international organization promotes greater awareness and appreciation of the music of Rachmaninoff.
The rehearsal and performance, followed by short a Q&A session with Ashkenazy and Xu, will take place in Juilliard's Peter Jay Sharp Theater on September 23. Limited free tickets will be available starting September 10. Visit www.juilliard.edu for further information.