Powerful playing and poetic performances catapulted Armenian cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan to win the First Prize and Gold Medal at the 2011 International Tchaikovsky Competition. Already hailed as a “seasoned phenom” by The Washington Post, Hakhnazaryan’s intense creativity has assured his place among the world’s most sought-after young musicians.
“Mr Hakhnazaryan projected intensity from the moment he took the stage. To the very end, his intense focus and expressive artistry never flagged.” New York Times
Sonata in A major
Introduction and Polonaise brillante in C major, Op. 3
Sonata for solo cello
The Jew: Life and Death
Narek Hakhnazaryan was awarded the Gold Medal at the 2011 XIV International Tchaikovsky Competition, as well as the Prize for the Best Performance of the Chamber Concerto, and the audience prize. Already hailed a “seasoned phenom” by the Washington Post following his Kennedy Center debut, Narek’s 2011-2012 season includes his debut with the Chicago Symphony, concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra and Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev, as his New York concerto debut at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall as part of the Young Concert Artists gala with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. His upcoming festival appearances include the Beethoven Festival in Warsaw and the Piatigorsky Festival in LA, as well as concerts at the Graffeneg, Tivoli, and Verbier.
Mentored by the late Mstislav Rostropovich, Narek was the only cellist invited to travel on behalf of Mstislav Rostropovich Foundation, leading him to performances in Russia, Germany, Austria, France, Great Britain, Greece, Turkey, and Canada. Emerging as one of the most significant young cellists on the word stage, Narek’s upcoming recitals include appearances throughout the US, Europe, and Asia, including concerts at Paris’s Salle Pleyel, Berlin’s Konzerthaus, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, and Tokyo’s Suntory Hall. Future highlights also include appearances with the Dallas Symphony and Kansas City Symphony, and a tour of Asia, as well as recitals in Iowa, Kansas, Boston, Vancouver, New Canaan, North Bethesda, and San Diego.
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 subsequently performed at the Young Concert Artists Festival in Tokyo and toured extensively in the United States, including an appearance as soloist in Boston’s Symphony Hall with the Boston Pops. He has also performed at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, the Buffalo Chamber Music Society, and both the Caramoor Rising Stars series and Ravinia Festival Rising Stars Series.
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.