YEREVAN–The Zhejiang Symphony Orchestra has announced that internationally acclaimed conductor Aram Gharabekian will lead the orchestra in a major collaborative concert on October 13, 2010. The much-anticipated event will take place at the Hangzhou Theater in Hangzhou, China.
“I am honored for having been invited by the Zhejiang Symphony Orchestra and its Artistic Director, Muhai Tang, to conduct this extraordinary concert,” Gharabekian said. “It will be a joy to not only share an evening of wonderful classical music with Chinese audiences, but collaborate with some of the region’s most accomplished musicians. It means a great deal to me as well as the Zhejiang Symphony Orchestra that our upcoming engagement in Hangzhou will symbolize international artistic collaboration.”
The concert will feature Zhou Tianjun on flute and 30 guest musicians from Japan who will join the orchestra for the performance. The program will comprise Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Symphony No. 29, Carl Reinecke’s Flute Concerto, and Piotr Ilych Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5.
Gharabekian’s first performance in China was held in 1999, when he conducted the Zhejiang Symphony Orchestra and a large choir in the Millennium Celebration Concert, featuring Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.
Considered one of Beethoven’s masterpieces and among the greatest musical compositions ever written, the Ninth Symphony includes a chorus in the final movement based on “Ode to Joy,” a poem by Friedrich Schiller. Reflecting the spirit of Schiller’s ode, the Millennium Celebration Concert symbolized the ideal of the unity and kinship of all mankind. Accordingly, the concert, which was performed twice and televised live, on December 30 and 31, featured musicians from China, Japan, South Korea, the United States, and Armenia, including the over 300 singers of the choir.
“The Millennium Celebration Concert was among the most memorable highlights of my work as a musician and conductor,” Gharabekian said. “Imagine the exhilaration of leading hundreds of musicians from so many countries, when a profusion of talent and impeccable professionalism come together to create musical magic.”
The former artistic director and conductor of the National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia (NCOA), Gharabekian is currently planning to establish a new foundation dedicated to international artistic collaboration through music as well as an array of music-education and mentorship programs.
“My colleagues and I are now putting the finishing touches,” Gharabekian said about his forthcoming project. “What we envision is a musical endeavor of universal relevance, one that will foster artistic symbiosis between numerous nations, celebrate the regenerative power of music on a truly international scale.”
The Boston Globe once called Gharabekian a conductor who “knows how to inspire an orchestra to give him what he wants.” Prior to his tenure with the NCOA, Gharabekian has conducted extensively in the United States, Europe, and countries of the former Soviet Union. He was also the founder, music director, and conductor of the Boston SinfoNova Orchestra.
While with the NCOA, Gharabekian led the critically acclaimed ensemble on tours worldwide, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, Greece, Cyprus, Russia, Georgia, and the Middle East.
Among Gharabekian’s achievements during his tenure with the orchestra was “Music for the People,” a groundbreaking program which he founded to bring the experience of live performances to audiences throughout Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh, especially in outlying regions. Within the framework of the initiative, Gharabekian conducted concerts across numerous communities in the two republics. In addition, he commissioned and recorded more than 40 works by Armenian composers. All of these works were premiered as part of the Music for the People” series, which had an uninterrupted 12-year run.
During his eight years with the Boston SinfoNova Orchestra, Gharabekian won recognition for his innovative programming, with acclaimed performances in major American venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
Gharabekian is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Lucien Wulsin Performance Award, the ASCAP Award, the Harvard Musical Association’s Best Performance Award, and the Movses Khorenatsi Medal, bestowed by the president of the Republic of Armenia for his contributions to the arts.