First pics: Ashkenazy opens new concert hall in Macedonia

First pics: Ashkenazy opens new concert hall in Macedonia


norman lebrecht

May 23, 2017

Branimir Pofuk reports for Slipped Disc:


Last night (21 May) I was in Skopje, capital of FYR Macedonia, attending very solemn opening of the new (and after 70 years of existence the first) Macedonia Philharmonic Orchestra concert hall.

Vladimir Ashkenazy conducted Labin and Dojrana, a ballet suite by the Macedonian composer Trajko Prokofiev, followed by Prokofiev’s third piano concerto with the Macedonian virtuoso Simon Trpčeski and Tchaikovsky’s fifth symphony.


Despite many political troubles and a poor economic situation in Macedonia this is the first concert hall built after disintegration of Socialist Yugoslava in any of its former republics.

Capacity is 1000, there is also a smaller chamber hall for 400 people.

Construction began in 2009, and was delayed when the building company went broke. The final cost, according to the director, is 37 milion Euros.

Until now, the Makedonska filharmonija has been playing in the totally inadequate acoustic of a military building.


  • Andy says:

    Does anyone know whether Ashkenazy still plays the piano? I think he’s completely finished with appearing as a pianist in public (?) but does he still practice it, use it for orchestral rehearsals etc? Could he still play much or any of the repertoire he once performed (I think he struggles with arthritis now?) If I could play the piano like he did I’d never have stopped!

  • Andy piano says:

    He has been making new recordings each year, his recent Bach recordings are actually quite good! He has a new one coming out soon, check out ITunes.

  • says:

    Kindly refrain from referring to these musicians as Macedonians. They are Bulgarian speaking Slavs of FYROM. Macedonia is a Greek word. Ancient Macedonia falls entirely within Greece. Ancient Macedonians were a Greek tribe. All Ancient Macedonian inscriptions and coins were written in Greek. All Ancient Macedonians spoke Greek. All Ancient Macedonians identified as Greek.
    FYROM is not Macedonia. They cannot use the name or likeness because it is exclusively Greek. They do not have permission from Greece to use the name. The Slavic and Albanian population of FYROM have no connection to Greek antiquity therefore the use of the name cannot be approved.
    Kindly refer to this nation as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia as the UN does. As the EU does. As the Olympic committee does. As NATO does. As Eurovision does. As Australia does. There is only one Macedonia and its Greek.

    • says:

      Wrong it’s Illiro – Thracian = Albanian word

    • Davis says:

      Light’en up whitie. You have congested way to much of your own propaganda.
      How can Macedonia be Greek when history says Macedonia conquered Greece?

      • ioannaskip says:

        What you are saying is propaganda, not the real history! The Greek kingdom of Macedonia UNITED Greece against Persia.

    • bcw says:

      this is silly….and a form of bigotry…this is not the right place for this tired rant.