- Aram Khachaturian International Competition (conductor) 2016
- Aram Khachaturian International Competition (violin) 2015
- Aram Khachaturian International Competition (Piano) 2014
- Aram Khachaturian International Competition (Cello) 2013
- Aram Khachaturian International Competition (Violin) 2012
- Aram Khachaturian International Competition (Piano/Composition) 2011
- Aram Khachaturian International Competition (Cello/Violin) 2010
- Aram Khachaturian International Competition (Violin) 2008
- Aram Khachaturian International Competition (Piano) 2007
- Aram Khachaturian International Competition (Cello) 2006
- Aram Khachaturian International Competition (Violin) 2005
- Aram Khachaturian International Competition (Piano) 2003
“Constantine Orbelian stands astride two great societies, and finds and promotes synergistic harmony from the best of each.”
For over 25 years the brilliant American pianist/conductor has been a central figure in Russia’s musical life - as Music Director of the Moscow Chamber Orchestra and the Philharmonia of Russia, and as frequent guest conductor with other illustrious Russian orchestras. He tours with American stars in Russian music centers, and Russian stars in North American music centers, and extends these splendid collaborations to tours in Europe, UK, Japan, Korea, and other music capitals throughout the world.
Orbelian’s appointment in 1991 as Music Director of the Moscow Chamber Orchestra was a breakthrough event: he is the first American ever to become music director of an ensemble in Russia. This “American in Moscow” is well known as a tireless champion of Russian-American cultural exchange and international ambassadorship through his worldwide tours. In January 2004, Orbelian was awarded the coveted title “Honored Artist of Russia,” a title never before bestowed on a non-Russian citizen.
“Orbelian has star quality, and his orchestra plays with passion and precision,” - The Audio Critic wrote of his acclaimed series of over 30 recordings on Delos. Among his concert and televised appearances are collaborations with stars Ewa Podles, Sondra Radwanovsky, Lawrence Brownlee, Renée Fleming and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, and with Van Cliburn in Cliburn\'s sentimental return to Moscow. Opera News calls Orbelian “the singer’s dream collaborator” and commented that he conducts vocal repertoire “with the sensitivity of a lieder pianist.” Orbelian’s frequent collaborations with Hvorostovsky include repertoire from their Delos recordings “Where Are You, My Brothers?” and “Moscow Nights” featured on many tours and telecasts, including historic live telecasts from Moscow’s Red Square, and also appearances in Hvorostovsky’s annual series of concerts “Hvorostovsky and friends” in Moscow and St.Petersburg. He was also the conductor of another historic Red Square performance of two world opera starts – Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Anna Netrebko – in June 2013.
Orbelian’s first film production, \"Renée Fleming and Dmitri Hvorostovsky: An Odyssey in St. Petersburg,\" was filmed in St. Petersburg\'s most glorious palaces, and stars Renée Fleming and Dmitri Hvorostovsky in opera scenes and arias. The film is in some ways a culmination of Orbelian\'s efforts in St. Petersburg, since he is founder and Music Director of the annual Palaces of St. Petersburg International Music Festival.
Born in San Francisco to Russian and Armenian emigré parents, Constantine Orbelian made his debut as a piano prodigy with the San Francisco Symphony at the age of 11. After graduating from Juilliard in New York, he embarked on a career as a piano virtuoso that included appearances with major symphony orchestras throughout the U.S., U.K., Europe, and Russia. His recording of the Khachaturian piano concerto with conductor Neeme Järvi won “Best Concerto Recording of the Year” award in the United Kingdom.
In 2014 the recording of Rossini’s virtuoso arias performed by the American tenor Lawrence Brownlee with the Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra (Lithuania) under Constantine Orbelian was nominated for Grammy award. It was a remarkable event both for the conductor and the orchestra which he had led since 2013.
In 2001 Orbelian was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, an award given to immigrants, or children of immigrants, who have made outstanding contributions to the United States. In 2012 he was awarded the Order of Friendship by Russia in recognition of his contribution to promoting Russian culture in and outside the country, and in 2015 – the Order of Friendship by Republic of Armenia.
In June 2016 Constantine Orbelian was appointed music director of the National Opera and Ballet Theatre of Armenia.
Soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian is an eagerly anticipated visitor to opera houses and concert halls the world over. A winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 1997 - the same year she graduated from the University of Toronto cum laude with a Biomedical Engineering Degree - Ms. Bayrakdarian thereafter found her career taking rapid wing. In 1999 she scored a notable success in the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s world premiere production of William Bolcom’s \"A View from the Bridge\"; the following year, she walked away from Plácido Domingo’s prestigious Operalia competition with first prize. More debuts followed, including her San Francisco Opera debut, as Valencienne in \"The Merry Widow\", and her Metropolitan Opera debut, in the New York premiere of Bolcom’s opera; a season later, she won plaudits as Teresa in the Met premiere of Berlioz’s \"Benvenuto Cellini\". Mozart became a specialty: Zerlina in \"Don Giovanni\" (New York, Houston, Salzburg), Susanna in \"Le nozze di Figaro\" (Los Angeles, London), and Pamina in \"The Magic Flute\" (New York, Toronto). Her roles at Toronto’s Canadian Opera Company range from Gluck’s Euridice to Debussy’s Mélisande to Poulenc’s Blanche in \"Dialogues des Carmélites\"; and away from Canada she’s shone as Monteverdi’s Poppea in Barcelona, Handel’s Romilda (Serse) in Dresden, and Janáček’s Vixen in New York, Florence, and the Saito Kinen Festival in Matsumoto, Japan.
But opera is only one page of the Bayrakdarian résumé. An ever-active concertizer, she’s appeared with the premier orchestras of New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, RAI Torino, Paris, London, Vienna, Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal under the baton of such eminent conductors as Seiji Ozawa, James Conlon, David Zinman, Michael Tilson Thomas, Alan Gilbert, Nicholas McGegan, Christoph von Dohnányi, Christoph Eschenbach, Colin Davis, Sir Andrew Davis, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Mariss Jansons, Leonard Slatkin, James Levine, Anne Manson, Bramwell Tovey, Peter Oundjian and Richard Bradshaw.
Her versatility is also reflected in being the featured vocalist on the Grammy-award winning soundtrack of the blockbuster film \"The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers\", and on the soundtrack of Atom Egoyan\'s \"Ararat\"; a trance music collaboration with electronica band “Delerium”, which garnered yet another Grammy nomination, the BBC-produced short film \"HOLOCAUST - A Music Memorial Film from Auschwitz\", and her Gemini-nominated film \"Long Journey Home\" documenting her first visit to her ancestral homeland Armenia.
Bayrakdarian is the winner of four consecutive Juno Awards for Best Classical Album (Vocal). Her recordings with orchestra include Henryk Górecki’s Symphony No. 3 with John Axelrod conducting the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, released on the Sony Classical label, Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, with Michael Tilson-Thomas conducting the San Francisco Symphony, and Respighi’s “Il Tramonto” with Orchestre Symphonique de Laval.
Ms Bayrakdarian is the recipient of many awards, including the Marilyn Horne Foundation Award, Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee and the Diamond Jubilee Medals, the Arbor Award from the University of Toronto, the George London Foundation Award, and the Canada Council’s Virginia Parker Prize. She holds an Honorary Doctorate from Wilfrid Laurier University, and an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Conservatory of Music. Ms Bayrakdarian is on the Voice Faculty at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB).
John Fisher (born 29 July 1950) is a Scottish opera director, conductor, opera manager, vocal coach, and record producer. The former Artistic Administrator of La Scala in Milan, he served as the Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the Welsh National Opera (WNO) from 2006 until 2011. He has worked as a record producer of opera recordings for both Deutsche Grammophon and Decca Records, and collaborated with opera director Jean-Pierre Ponnelle on several opera films for Unitel Films.
Born in Glasgow, Fisher is a graduate of the London Opera Centre, the Royal Academy of Music, and the University of Glasgow. In 1972 he joined the staff of the WNO as Music Director of \"Opera For All\", a program dedicated to making opera more accessible to modern audiences. From 1973-1975 he worked as a repetiteur, vocal coach, and Music Director of the Opera Studio at La Monnaie in Brussels. He then worked on the music staff at the De Nederlandse Opera in Amerstdam from 1975-1977.
In 1977 Fisher was appointed the Head of Music Staff at La Scala in Milan. From 1981-1988 be served as La Scala\'s Artistic Administrator, and from 1983–1988 he worked as a consultant for the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro. In 1989 he became the first non-Italian to serve as Artistic Director of La Fenice in Venice. He left that post in 1994 to join the staff of Deutsche Grammophon as an Executive Producer and Director of Opera and Vocal Productions. He remained in that post until 1997 when he was hired by the Metropolitan Opera of New York City as the company\'s Director of Music Administration, a position he remained in until becoming General Director of the WNO in 2006.
Fisher served as jury chairman (operatic and song categories) of the prestigious \"BBC Cardiff Singer of the World\" competition in 2007, 2009 and 2011. In 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 he served as an international guest coach on the faculty of the inaugural Lisa Gasteen Opera Summer School, and in 2012 he was invited back to the Met in NY to play a key role in the musical preparation of Wagner\'s Ring Cycle, working with - amongst others - acclaimed stars Bryn Terfel and Deborah Voigt. He is in demand throughout the world as an operatic vocal coach of the highest calibre, appearing at such institutions as the Juilliard School and the Young Artists Program at the Met.
On 5 July 2013, John Fisher was invested with an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. On 24 August 2014, he conducted the Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra and State Choir in a performance of the Verdi Requiem for the closing concert of the Pažaislis Music Festival 2014 (Lithuania), commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Jewish ghetto in Kaunas.
In June, 2015, Fisher was a member of the jury for the 15th Tchaikovsky International Competition (Voice Category) in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
In September, 2015, Fisher returned to the Met as its Director of Music Administration and in 2016 became Assistant General Manager of Music Administration.
Gevorg Hakobyan was born in 1981 in Armenia. In 2004 graduated from the Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory under the guidance of the People’s Artist of Armenia. Professor Sergey Danielyan. Hakobyan is the laureate of the A. Isahakian Republic Vocal Competition. Since 2003 he is a soloist of the A. Spendiaryan National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet, where in 2004 he made a debut with a new production of \"Anush\" by A. Tigranyan. In 2005 he was awarded the 1st Prize of the International Army Song Competition in Moscow.
Hakobyan has performed in the following operas: Tchaikovsky \"Iolanta\" (Ibn-Hakia), \"Eugene Onegin\" (Onegin), \"The Slippers\" (Bess), T. Chukhajyan \"Arshak II\" (Arshak II), A. Tigranyan \"David Bek\" (David Bek), Leoncavallo \"Pagliacci\" (Tonio), Rimsky-Korsakov \"The Legend of the invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevroniya\" (Fedor Poyarok), Mascagni \"Cavalleria rusticana\" (Adolf), Puccini \"Madama Butterfly\" (Sharpless), \"Tosca\" (Baron Scarpia), Verdi \"Aida\" (Amonasro), \"Nabucco\" (Nabucco), Giordano \"Andrea Chenier\" (Carlo Gerard) etc.
In 2007 for the achievements in classical music performances Mr. Hakobyan was awarded the Gold Medal by the President of the Republic of Armenia. In 2008-2010 he toured to Italy, St. Petersburg and Spain. In 2013 Gevorg was invited as a cover for Placido Domingo, the part of Francesco Foscari in Due Foscari by G. Verdi and in March/April of 2014, along with Domingo, Hakobyan performed during the production of \"Simon Boccanegra\" by Verdi (Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia, Valencia, Spain).
Hakobyan collaborated with such recognized directors as Giancarlo del Monaco, Eimuntas Nekrošius, Mario Corrado, Irkin Gabitov, Willie Lundy, Lorenzo Mariani etc.
Hakobyan\'s album entitled \"Classical Armenian romances\" includes pieces by Romanos Melikyan, Edward Mirzoyan, Vagharshak Kotoyan and Arno Babajanyan. Since 2010 he teaches at the Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory (since 2015 as the Associate Professor).
In 2008 he won the First Prize and Gold Medal of the “First International Pavel Lisitsian Baritone” Competition, in 2011 - the \"Golden Voice\" prize of the Armenian Musical Awards (Moscow) and the \"Artavazd\" prize in the \"Best opera singer of the year\" category. In 2011 he was awarded the title of the Honored Artist of RA.
In November 2016, he performed Nabucco (\"Nabucco\" by Verdi) in Piceno, Fermo and Fano (Italy), and in January 2017 - Simon Boccanegra (\"Simon Boccanegra\" by Verdi) at the Mariinsky Theatre (Russia).
Born in Cambridge and educated at Kings College, University of London and the Guildhall School of Music.
Senior Board member of the Artist management company Askonas Holt, and personal manager of among others Angela Gheorghiu, Elina Garanca, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Tugan Sokhiev, Yundi Li and Sergey Khachatryan.
Askonas Holt is one of the world’s leading arts management agencies. Based in central London, the company represents an unrivalled Roster of vocal, instrumental and conducting talent, as well as managing tours for many outstanding orchestras and dance companies.
For more than 25 years has had very close collaboration with artists from the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Belarus, and the Republics of Armenia and Georgia.
Internationally acclaimed conductor Jorge Parodi is based in New York City and has worked extensively in North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. Recent credits include Donizetti\'s Lucrezia Borgia and Bellini\'s I Capuleti e i Montecchi for Buenos Aires Lirica in Argentina; Britten\'s The Turn of the Screw for the Castleton Festival in Virginia and The Banff Centre in Canada; Piazzolla’s Maria de Buenos Aires for Atlanta Opera and Opera Grand Rapids; and Ravel\'s L\'enfant et les sortileges for The Juilliard School at Lincoln Center.
Reviewed as having \"the most expressive conducting hands since Stokowski\" by the New York Daily News, Argentinean born Jorge Parodi has worked with such companies as the Teatro Colon in Argentina, the Volgograd Opera in Russia, and the Encuentros Internacionales de Opera in Mexico, the Tokyo International Vocal Arts Academy in Japan, and the International Vocal Arts Institute in Israel. He has collaborated with such artists as Isabel Leonard, Eglise Gutierrez, Tito Capobianco, Sherrill Milnes, Aprile Millo and Rufus Wainwright and has assisted conductors Lorin Maazel and Julius Rudel, among others.
As Artistic Director of Opera Hispanica, the only company in the United States focused on the Hispanic vocal repertoire, maestro Parodi performed Piazzola\'s Maria de Buenos Aires for Opera Hispanica, which The New York Times described as \"excellent.\" In 2015, Maestro Parodi was named Music Director of Opera in Williamsburg (Virginia), where he has conducted Il trovatore, L\'elisir d\'amore, Don Pasquale, Cosi fan tutte, and Lucia di Lammermoor.
Maestro Parodi has been a faculty member at The Juilliard School for over a decade and is the Music Director of the Senior Opera Theatre at the Manhattan School of Music, where he has conducted its productions to critical acclaim. The New York Times praised his production of Schubert\'s Die Verschworenen as being \"superbly performed.\" Maestro Parodi also conducted historically informed performances of Cavalli\'s La Calisto and Monteverdi’s L\'incoronazione di Poppea for the Manhattan Summer Voice Festival, and Purcell\'s Dido and Aeneas at the Bruno Walter Auditorium in Lincoln Center that Opera News praised as \"a fully convincing presentation\". Other New York credits include productions of The Beggar\'s Opera, La Doriclea, The Ghost of Versailles, La Vida Breve, El Amor Brujo, Le Roi l\'a dit, Riders to the Sea, Camilla, Apollo e Dafne, Don Giovanni, and La vie parisienne.
Richard Rodzinski was born in 1945 in New York City into a musical family. His university studies began at Oberlin College and continued at Columbia College where he graduated in 1967 with a Bachelor of Arts in Musicology. He continued his graduate studies in Musicology at Columbia University through 1969.
Mr. Rodzinski began his professional career at the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy in 1962 first running the rehearsal department and later becoming the director of the Theater Division. Over the next several years, he worked for Columbia Records, as assistant to conductor Thomas Schippers for all his opera recordings in Rome for RCA, and as personal representative for Polish composer, Krzysztof Penderecki.
In 1969 he was engaged as the Artistic Administrator of the San Francisco Opera and in 1975 assumed the same position at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. While at the Met he worked together with James Levine selecting repertoire, engaging conductors, stage directors, and casting artists for all productions. In addition, he auditioned hundreds of singers for both the Met regular season as well as the National Opera Guild Auditions Program.
Rodzinski joined the Van Cliburn Foundation as president and executive director in 1986 and ran the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition for six editions.
In 1999, he also created the International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs, a quadrennial event to reflect his commitment to active adult musical engagement. In 2007 the top prize was named the Richard Rodzinski First Prize Award in his honor and has been endowed in perpetuity.
At the invitation of Maestro Valery Gergiev, in 2009 Mr. Rodzinski was invited to become the General Director of the 2011 International Tchaikovsky Competition in order to revitalize the competition and bring to it integrity, transparency, prestige and an impeccable reputation by introducing new rules, regulations, voting systems, and numerous other innovations including worldwide live webcasts, international tours for the winners, and a solid marketing and PR campaign.
He has served as a consultant and has undertaken projects for several organizations including the Ford Foundation (1980-1982), OPERA America (1979-1983), and the National Endowment for the Arts (1979-1984). He has served on the Board of the World Federation of International Music Competitions for most of the last twenty years and for nine years as its first Vice President, as well as two terms during the 1990’s on the Board of the International Society of Performing Arts.
His articles have appeared in numerous competition program books and in the National Music Teachers Association publication.
Giampiero Sobrino graduated from the class of clarinet with the highest marks and soon took part in major international competitions in Genoa, Rome, Palmi, Ancona, Turin, Stresa, Martigny, Colmar, and Paris. At the age of 20 he was appointed first clarinet soloist of the Orchestra Sinfonica della RAI di Torino and the Philharmonic Torino Philharmonic Orchestra, later on continued at the Orchestra of the Fondazione Arena di Verona.
Sobrino has taught at conservatories and music schools, gave master classes in Italy, France, Spain and Canada, as well as participated in many concerts and recordings of chamber music. He has collaborated with the greatest conductors and composers of our time, including Sir Georg Solti, Leonard Bernstein, James Levine, Mstislav Rostropovich, Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Muti, Wolfgang Sawallich, Peter Maria Giulini, Zubin Mehta, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Luciano Berio, Pierre Boulez.
Sobrino has performed within the frameworks of the prestigious international festivals (such as the Venice Biennale or Festival Aix-en-Provence) and on the stages of the leading concert halls in Rome, Naples, Padua, Verona, Monaco, Trieste, Turin, Zagreb, St. Petersburg, Hamilton, Bangkok etc. Repertoire of the musician includes pieces by Mozart, Salieri, Donizetti, Mercadante, Ponchielli, Weber, Rossini, Strauss, Bruch, Debussy, Copland,Berio, Bernstein, Shaw and the first performances of concertos by Vacchi, Colla, Galante, and Bacalov.
Last seasons\' highlights include joint performances with the New England Symphony at Carnegie Hall, with the Sudecka Philharmonic in Krakow, with the Beijing Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Toulon, the Orchestra Estado of Mexico and the Athens State Orchestra, the Sofia Philharmonic in Jerusalem, Lisbon and Belgrade, the Israel Raanana Symphonette, the Kiev Philharmonic, the Montreal Chamber Orchestra and the Camerata Bohemica Prague, and the SFO Toronto and Württembergische Philharmonie. Recently he has appeared at the Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center in New York, within the frameworks of the international festivals in Avignon, Prague, Taipei, Budapest, Montevideo, Nancy, Bratislava, Stockholm, St. Gallen, Zurich etc.
From 1996 till September 2013 Andrejs Žagars held the position of the General Director of the Latvian National Opera in Riga. Currently Andrejs Žagars is artistic director of the festival “Baltic Musical Seasons” and continues to work as a freelance stage director.
Under his leadership, the Latvian National Opera has developed into an internationally acclaimed company and took part in international opera festivals, touring to Asia, Latin America, as well as throughout Europe. In previous seasons, the LNO has been touring to the Hong Kong Festival, the Bordeaux Opera, the Catania Opera, the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, the Luxembourg Opera, the Dalhalla Festival in Sweden, as well as to Mexico. During the leadership of Andrejs Zagars many talents like Elīna Garanča, Kristine Opolais, Marina Rebeka, Maija Kovaļevska, Inese Galante, Aleksandrs Antoņenko and Egils Silins started their careers at the LNO.
Andrejs Žagars established the Riga Opera Festival as an annual cultural event which showcases the best productions of the Latvian National Opera and attracts an international audience.
By the initiative of Andrejs Zagars, in 2010 LNO has joined the European Network of Opera Academies (ENOA). Zagars regularly holds workshops for opera singers in LNO. He has been engaged as a jury member in several international vocal competitions for young opera singers, twice has been appointed jury chairman for musical theatres, as well as for \\\\\\\"Golden mask\\\\\\\" festival in Russia.
Since 2012 Zagars is the Artistic Director of the Department of Directing and Acting of the Musical Theatre in the Faculty of the Musical Theatre at Russian State Institute of Theatre Arts (GITIS). Since 2012 has been directing the training program and master classes for young performers – singers on a regular basis within the ENOA activities both in Latvia and abroad.
Zagars has experienced in theatre regie, choreographic and musical arrangement of productions. As a stage director, Andrejs Žagars has staged 25 opera productions in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Germany, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Israel, Czech Republic, Hong Kong and Russia. His productions won critical acclaim in the international press and were shown in guest performances and at festivals in Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Germany, France, Luxembourg, Finland and Estonia.