D’Ascoli, Bernard , blind French pianist; b. Aubagne, Nov. 18,1958. He was stricken with blindness at the age of 3, but by the time he was 11 he was able to read music via Braille, which allowed him to pursue studies at the Marseilles Cons. (1973–77). In 1978 he won first prize in the Maria Canals competition in Barcelona, and in 1981 he took third prize in the Leeds competition. In 1981 he made his Paris debut at the Salle Cortot, followed by his first appearance in London in 1982. In 1983 he made his Australian debut in Sydney, and in 1985 his U.S. debut as soloist with the Houston Sym. Orch. He played for the first time in Vienna in 1986 and in Tokyo in 1988. In addition to his engagements with leading orchs. of the day, he also appeared widely as a recitalist.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire