"a phenomenally warm-hearted poetic and dazzling soloist."
"One can but marvel at first at such agile, heady virtuosity, devoid of the slightest hesitation or miscalculation. But the true wonder is of a musical nature: his beautiful, liquid sonority, transparent to the very core".
"a pianist of extraordinary artistic sensibility offered many a fresh insight into that most awkward of piano concertos."
"Here is a true musician ! ... Bernard d'Ascoli distiguishes himself by his profound and balanced playing. He avoids show, without flinching at technical hurdles which are always brilliantly mastered in a superb flood of sounds."…
"d'Ascoli's playing is always special… Every note of the intense slow movement was highly charged while maintainig an operatically lyrical line..."
Born in Provence, Bernard d'Ascoli discovered his passion for music at the age of eleven when he began learning piano and organ. In 1974 he was the youngest French Baccalaureat graduate of the year and four years later, at the age of nineteen, he won the First Prize in the Barcelona International Piano Competition.
Bernard d'Ascoli first came to major public attention in 1981 when, following his Third Prize in the Leeds International Piano Competition, he made his London debut both in recital and with orchestra and recorded the Liszt sonata and other works for EMI, later re-issued on CD.
He was soon performing in many of the world's most prestigious venues including London (Royal Festival Hall), Amsterdam (Concertgebouw), Vienna (Musikverein), Paris, Geneva, Brussels, Madrid, Tokyo, Washington and the Sydney Opera House. He has performed with most London and other British orchestras as well as with many major overseas ensembles such as the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Boston Symphony, Montreal Symphony, Dresden philaharmonic, under such prestigious conductors as Svetlanov, Sanderling, Berglund, Plasson, Casadesus, Guschlbauer, Litton, Menuhin, Pritchard, Herbig, Leppard, Fischer, Järvi, Llewellyn, Parrot and Andrew Davis.
He has participated in prestigious international festivals such as the BBC Proms, Sintra, Oviedo, Besançon or La Roque d'Anthéron. In 2000 he was a special guest of the Sydney Olympic festivities, appearing at the Opera House both as recitalist and soloist with the Sydney Symphony.
He is founder and Artistic Director of PIANO CANTABILE an organisation based in France which is dedicated to the coaching and professional support of highly-gifted young pianists.
Bernard d'Ascoli has recorded albums of Chopin and Schumann for Nimbus and has made regular recordings as well as live broadcasts for the BBC. With Linn Records he features prominently on another Schumann CD of the Quintet and other works where he is joined by the Schidlof Quartet. His particular affinity with the music of Chopin led him to undertake the recording of the complete Scherzi and Impromptus and a double album of the complete Nocturnes for the Athene-Minerva label. The latter CD was selected as an "Editor’s Choice" in the "Gramophone" magazine.