Narek Hakhnazaryan was propelled on to the international scene in 2011 when, at the age of 22, he won the Cello First Prize and Gold Medal at the XIV International Tchaikovsky Competition, since which time he has become firmly established as one of the finest cellists of his generation. He has received critical press from both sides of the Atlantic, with the Daily Telegraph describing his playing “a marvel of musicality and technique combined” and the Washington Post describing him as “a seasoned phenomenon”.
Hakhnazaryan has played with some of the world’s finest orchestras including the London Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Seoul Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony and Mariinsky orchestras, Filarmonica della Scala Milan and Orchestre National de Toulouse, and with conductors such as Gergiev, Koopman, van Zweden, Sokhiev, Neemi Järvi, Spivakov, Pletnev, Robertson, Bělohlávek. In chamber and duo recitals he has performed in halls such as the Salle Pleyel Paris, Wigmore Hall, Berlin Konzerthaus, Vienna Konzerthaus, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Oji Hall Tokyo, Zankel Hall (Carnegie Hall), Jordan Hall (Boston) and at the Tivoli, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Ravinia, Mikkeli, City of London and Verbier Festivals.
In the 2014/15 season Hakhnazaryan makes his debut with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony and New Zealand Symphony orchestras, in recital at the Lucerne Festival and at the Dvorak Festival Prague with the Czech Philharmonic. Other highlights that season include returns to the Seoul Philharmonic, a tour of Japan for recitals and concerts with the Mariinsky Orchestra/Gergiev, a piano trio tour with Sergey and Lusine Khachatryan across many of the major European concert halls including Vienna’s Konzerthaus and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, a recital with Igor Levit at the Philharmonie Essen, and his debut in London’s Royal Festival Hall, where he will play the Dvorak Concerto with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Narek Hakhnazaryan was born in Yerevan, Armenia, into a family of musicians: his father is a violinist and his mother a pianist. Hakhnazaryan’s early studies were at the Sayat-Nova School of Music in Yerevan with Zareh Sarkisyan and subsequently at the Moscow Conservatory with Alexey Seleznyov, and he also had the honour of being mentored by the late Rostropovich. He has received scholarships from the Rostropovich Foundation and the Russian Performing Arts Fund, and his prizes include First Prize in the 2006 Aram Khachaturian International Competition in Armenia and First Place in the 2006 Johansen International Competition for Young String Players. As First Prize winner in the 2008 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Hakhnazaryan made his debut at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall and in Washington, DC. In 2011 he received an Artist Diploma from the New England Conservatory of Music where he studied with Lawrence Lesser.