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Narek Hakhnazaryan

Narek Hakhnazaryan (cello) , Armenia

«Mr Hakhnazaryan projected intensity from the moment he took the stage. To the very end, his intense focus and expressive artistry never flagged.» The New York Times

«His command of the instrument is extraordinary.» Los Angeles Times

«Hakhnazaryan impresses you with a degree of freedom that comes hard-won from discipline of the highest order.» Washington Post

Narek Hakhnazaryan was awarded the Gold Medal at the 2011 XIV International Tchaikovsky Competition, the most prestigious prize given to a cellist. Already hailed a «seasoned phenom» by the Washington Post, and praised for his «intense focus and expressive artistry» by the New York Times, Hakhnazaryan is emerging as one of the most significant young artists on the world stage.

Narek's 11-12 season included his debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra and Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev, and his New York concerto debut at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall with the Orchestra of St. Luke's. In chamber and duo recitals he performed throughout the US, as well as in Paris' Salle Pleyel, and at the Beethoven Festival in Warsaw and the Piatigorsky Festival in LA. He also appeared at the Verbier, Graffeneg, Tivoli, and City of London Festivals.

In the 12-13 season, Hakhnazaryan looks forward to his debut with the Rotterdam Philharmonic performing the Dutilleux Concerto under Gergiev, and performances with the Dallas Symphony under Jaap van Zweden, and the Kansas City Symphony under Michael Stern, as well as debuts with the London Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony, NDR Hamburg, La Scala Filarmonica Milan, Orchestre symphonique de Quebec, Vienna Chamber, and Seoul Philharmonic orchestras. In recital he will appear at the Berlin Konzerthaus, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Boston, the Shriver Hall Concert Series in Baltimore, and the Vancouver Recital Series. Future highlights also include a recital at Carnegie's Zankel Hall, and performing Lera Auerbach's Symphony No. 2 for Mezzo Soprano, Cello, Choir and Orchestra with the Sao Paulo Symphony.

Mentored by the late Mstislav Rostropovich, Narek was the only cellist invited to travel on behalf of Mstislav Rostropovich Foundation. As First Prize winner in the 2008 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Narek debuted in the Young Concert Artists Series in New York at Carnegie's Zankel Hall, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. He has since toured extensively in the United States, including an appearance as soloist in Boston's Symphony Hall with the Boston Pops. Narek was born in 1988 in Yerevan, Armenia, into a family of musicians: his father is a violinist and his mother is a pianist. His early studies were at the Sayat-Nova School of Music in Yerevan with Zareh Sarkisyan. At the age of 12, Narek began studies at the Moscow Conservatory with Alexey Seleznyov. Working with Lawrence Lesser, he received an Artist Diploma from the New England Conservatory of Music in 2011.

Narek plays a 1698 David Tecchler cello, on loan from Valentine Saarmaa, granddaughter of the renowned luthier Jacques Francais.