Narek Hakhnazaryan

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Narek Hakhnazaryan

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Armenian cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan, hailed by the Washington Post as a “phenomenal cellist,” exudes a confidence and seasoned professionalism that belies his youth.

Born in 1988 in Erevan to a family of musicians, Hakhnazaryan completed his early studies at the Moscow State Conservatory and soon gained international acclaim as prize-winner in several major competitions including the 14th International Tchaikovsky Competition (1st prize, Gold Medal and two special prizes), Geongnam International Competition in Korea(2nd prize), Johansen International Competition for Young String Players in USA(1st prize), and Khachaturian International Competition.

In 2007(1st prize and Gold Medal). Mr. Hakhnazaryan was celebrated with an award bestowed by the President of Armenian Republic.

As First Prize winner in the 2008 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Mr. Hakahnazaryan signed on as roster artist with Young Concert Artists, Inc. and debuted in the Young Concert Artists Series in New York at Carnegie Hall and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

“Watching talent of this age on this level is always a thrill. . . . his way with the instrument is that of a seasoned professional. He produces a powerful and colorful sound in all registers, nails every big shift and flashes all the virtuoso’s tricks (flying staccato, artificial harmonics, jeté, etc.) with insolent ease.” The Washington Post, on his Kennedy Center debut

The New York Times raved of his Carnegie Hall debut: “Mr. Hakhnazaryan demonstrated his considerable technical prowess . . . [he gave] a gorgeous rendition of Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise . . . [his] tone was lean but warm and supple, animating Schumann’s lyrical phrases with grace. . . . In a commanding account of Shostakovich’s Cello Sonata . . . [he] brought a daredevil verve to the intricate Scherzo . . . To the very end, Mr. Hakhnazaryan’s intense focus and expressive artistry never flagged.”

Narek has participated in master classes given by such renowned artists as Mstislav Rostropovich, David Geringas, Ralph Kirshbaum, Laurence Lesser, Paul Katz, and Steven Isserlis. In his short years, this extraordinary young cellist has toured Russia, the United States, Canada, Germany, Italy, Austria, France, Great Britain, Slovakia, Croatia, Greece, China, Japan, Korea, Armenia, and Turkey. He is presently enrolled in the prestigious Artist Diploma program at New England Conservatory in Boston as a student of Laurence Lesser and Moscow State Conservatory as a student of Aleksey Seleznyov. Mr. Hakhnazaryan plays a 1698 David Tecchler cello, on loan from Valentine Saarmaa, granddaughter of the renowned luthier Jacques Francais and the bow made by Benoit Rolland.

During the 2011-12 season, Hakhnazaryan performs as soloist with Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and Valery Gergiev, Mariinsky Orchestra with Valery Gergiev, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Signature Symphony Orchestra, Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, Longwood Symphony Orchestra, Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s and will play solo recitals in Iowa State University (IA), Boston Chamber Music Society (MA), Levine School of Music (MD), Missouri State Univesrity (MO), La Jolla Music Society(CA) etc.

Last season, Mr. Hakhnazaryan’s appearances included the Young Concert Artists Festival in Tokyo and two performances in Boston’s Symphony Hall: with the Boston Pops in Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations with Maestro Erich Kunzel, and performing the Schumann Cello Concerto with conductor Hugh Wolff and the NEC Philharmonia. He has performed as soloist with the Long Bay, Fort Smith and Westmoreland symphonies, and in recital at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Ravinia’s Rising Stars Series, the University of Florida, Vanguard Concerts, the University of Georgia, Candlelight Concerts, Missouri State University, the Washington Center for the Performing Arts in Olympia, The Paramount Theatre, and The Colonial Theatre, among many others.