By Ara Arakelian
BOSTON — Cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan, 21, has been in Boston for less than a year but he has already made quite an impression in the Boston classical music circles. Currently an artist diploma candidate at the New England Conservatory (NEC), he has been invited to perform with the school’s Philharmonia Orchestra’s much anticipated Symphony Hall debut on Wednesday, April 7. Hakhnazaryan will be the soloist for Robert Schumann’s iconic Cello Concerto, under the direction of Hugh Wolff. As a warm-up for the big event, he will also perform a free recital at NEC’s Jordan Hall on Thursday, April 1, where the program will feature music by Schumann, Shostakovich and Benjamin Britten, among others.
Hakhnazaryan is the winner of the 2008 Young Concert Artists International Auditions. In October 2008, he made impressive debut appearances in Carnegie’s Zankel Hall in New York and in Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater in Washington, DC. “He produces powerful and colorful sound in all registers, and flashes all the virtuoso’s tricks with insolent ease…” wrote the Washington Post, while the New York Times praised his “intense focus and expressive artistry.” In addition to the YCA award, Hakhnazaryan is also the laureate of several international competitions, including first prize in the 2006 Aram Khachaturian International Competition, first prize in the 2006 Johansen International Competition for Young String Players, and fifth prize at the 2007 Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow. He has received scholarships from the Rostropovich Russian Performing Arts Fund and has performed in Russia, Germany, Italy, Austria, France, Great Britain, Greece and Canada.
Discounted tickets for the April 7 Symphony Hall concert can be obtained by visiting Friends of Armenian Culture Society’s website at www.FACSBoston.org. Tickets are also available at the Symphony Hall Box Office.