As musical life slowly comes back and concert halls re-open their doors, Saleem quickly resumed his concert and recording schedule.
He had an astounding success with the Atlanta symphony playing Grieg’s piano concerto.
The Arts Atlanta wrote
“Ashkar’s playing was outstanding — rhythmically solid and supple, with crystalline phrasing and no fat, no excess, in his sound. For a concerto that seems to attract kitsch and glitter, his approach made it sound clean and modern. In the cadenza, near the end of the opening movement, Ashkar made the flamboyant Lisztian declaration of the main theme heroic and triumphant, but with an undercurrent of self-doubt. For all the grandiosity, you could feel his inward contemplation. Throughout the concerto, Ashkar found these sorts of new facets, and rarely plumbed depths, in this familiar music.”
Later, he went on to have a similar success playing Tchaikowsky’s first piano concerto with the Helsinki Philharmonic.
He released another chapter of his complete Beethoven Sonatas recording for Decca, the final recording of which, will be released at the end of this year.
A highlight was his NY Carnegie hall debut as conductor, leading his Galilee Chamber orchestra on a north American tour. Here is a short film about that memorable concert.
He and the orchestra have already been invited back to Carnegie in the 2024/5 season!