Armenian pianist and composer Karén Hakobyan has emerged as a versatile force on theinternational musical scene. Since his acclaimed Carnegie Hall debut at the age of seventeen, he has been performing in major concert halls in Armenia, Argentina, Mexico, Germany, France, and the United States. New York reviewer Phillip Dieckow wrote in his review of Mr. Hakobyan's Carnegie performance: "It is very difficult for me to be objective with this pianist. I am seldom moved to tears by performances any longer and even more seldom so delighted with breath-taking playing that I feel like dancing. Both were evoked during this young man's performance."
Mr. Hakobyan appeared as a soloist in North America with the University of Utah Philharmonia, the Salt Lake Symphony, Summer Arts Festival Orchestra, the New American Symphony, and the World Festival Orchestra and internationally with the Tucuman Philharmonic Orchestra (Argentina), the Monterrey Symphony Orchestra (Mexico), the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Serenade Chamber Orchestra, and the National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia.
Mr. Hakobyan won Bronze Medal in the World Piano International Competition, 1st prize in the Pinault InternationalAudiotape/ Videotape Piano Competition and 2nd prize in the Armenian Legacy Pianists International Piano Competition. He also won 1st prize in the Four Corners Piano Competition and The Fite Piano Competition. Mr. Hakobyan's performances have been broadcasted on WQXR New York's Classical Radio Station, WMFT Chicago’s Classical Radio Station, Argentine National Radio, Monterrey’s (Mexico) Op. 102 Radio Station, and Armenian National Radio.
Mr. Hakobyan regularly appears in prestigious festivals and concert series. Some of his festival performance highlights include: invitation to perform in the "Lille International Piano(s) Festival" in France in 2005: performances "The Pianist as Composer" Festival at Mannes College of Music in 2008 and "The Mendelssohn Salon Yearlong Festival" in 2009 in New York City. He was featured at "Keys to the Future" Contemporary Music Concert Series in 2009 and 2010 in New York City. His recent performance of Vuk Kulenovic's "Virginal" in Le Poisson Rouge on the closing night of the "Keys to the Future" festival was described as "sensitively rendered" by New York Times. He was also featured in three special concerts during Carnegie Hall’s 2010-2011 season.
Mr. Hakobyan is a winner of the 2004 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Competition. His "Two Pieces for String Quartet" was awarded the Amadeus Diploma for Composition in 1998 during a competition held jointly by the Belgian Amadeus Association and the Armenian Musical Assembly. In the same year his work was included among the 12 best compositions at the Group Quest (USA) International Competition. In 2002 he was awarded the prestigious Robertson Scholarship in Composition at the University of Utah, primarily based on his Second Symphony, which was performed in Berlin in 2001 at the Young Euro-classic International Festival by the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra. His composition debut concert in Carnegie hall on March 1st, 2011 was very well received. David LaMarche, reviewer for the New York Concert Review described Mr. Hakobyan as “a musician of abundant gifts and bountiful ideas” in his review of the concert. His composition CD will be released in New York in 2013.
Karén Hakobyan completed Professional Studies Degrees at both Manhattan School of Music and Mannes College of Music. He also received B.M. and M.M. Degrees from University of Utah in piano and composition. His principal piano teachers include Dr. Arkady Aronov, Dr. Susan Duehlmeier and Professor Armen Babakhanian. He studied composition with David Sakoyan, Dr. Morris Rosenzweig and Dr. Miguel Chuaqui. He currently resides in New York City.