Diana Adamyan, left, with Renana Gutman

Violinist Diana Adamyan Shines in Boston Recital Debut

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By Ara Arakelian

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Pickman Hall of the Longy School of Music was brimming with excitement last Thursday evening, December 7, when violinist Diana Adamyan took the stage for her much-anticipated Boston Recital Debut, presented by the prestigious Celebrity Series of Boston. She performed with one of Boston’s most distinguished artists, pianist Renana Gutman.

Adamyan, 23, may not be a house-hold name, but if this recital and her latest streak of successes are any indication, she is well on her way to a solid career as a violinist and an artist with a unique voice. After winning the coveted Menuhin Competition in Germany in 2018, her professional advancement was briefly interrupted by the pandemic amid wide engagement cancellations and misfortunes that befell the classical music presenters. But as the fog of Covid lifted, Adamyan bounced back. One of the most influential artist management firms, Opus 3 Artists, signed her up in 2021 and has since steadily – and measurably – provided her with guidance and performance opportunities around the world. A few impressive debuts ensued, including appearances as soloist with orchestra in Germany, and in the United States in Aspen, Colorado, as well as with the Boston Pops for the Armenian Night at the Pops, all in 2022.

Adamyan’s diminutive figure belies her inner strength and tenacity. On the stage, wearing a warm yet timid smile, she exudes confidence the minute the music starts. And she draws in the listener as she goes on her journey.

For this recital, Adamyan found in Gutman the consummate collaborative partner who supported her throughout a varied and eclectic repertoire. Playing on a 1760 Nicolo Gagliano violin which pre-dates by 21 years the Mozart sonata (in B-flat, K. 378) for violin and piano which opened the program, Adamyan articulated the contrasting themes of the first movement with sensitivity and restrained joy.  Ms. Gutman’s mastery of the classical style and spontaneity contributed to the humor, sparkle, and the energy of the Rondo movement, which the duo conveyed with great aplomb.

The rarely performed Five Pieces for violin and piano (Op. 81) by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius followed the Mozart. Written in a span of a few years after World War I, these salon pieces range from the introverted to the zestful and highlight the capabilities of the violin as an expressive instrument. Here Adamyan seemed completely at home; instrument and artist blended, and passionate storytelling became the goal.  The middle piece (Valse) was notable for its touch of sadness and inward character while the Aubade (Dawn) was memorable for its lightness and optimism. A charming but melancholic Humoresque (No. 3, Op. 89) also by Sibelius closed the first half of the concert.

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After intermission came Edvard Baghdasaryan’s Rhapsody for violin and piano, a favorite of Armenian violinists. Written in 1958, this one-movement work is intensely emotional and requires virtuosic prowess. Through its varied sections there are yearnings, dances, and other folk themes, while a certain sense of suspense is always in the air. It received a dramatic rendition by Adamyan and Gutman.

Camille Saint-Saens’s Sonata No. 1 in D-minor for violin and piano was the final work on the program. This somewhat neglected work in four movements was composed in the second half of the 19th century, in a period known as the “Golden Age” of the violin sonatas in France. The opening movement called Allegro agitato with darkly passionate phrases infused with syncopation that gave it momentum, gave way to a gentle Adagio movement featuring a delicate dialogue between the violin and the piano. Adamyan and Gutman’s interchange was noteworthy for its grace, unity of purpose and communicative character. Their effortless, technically brilliant performance in the Allegro molto movement brought to close a very rewarding concert program. The enthralled audience responded with a standing ovation, nudging the artists to perform a tantalizing encore, Fritz Kreisler’s Schön Rosmarin.

Born in Yerevan, Armenia into a family of musicians, Adamyan completed her studies this year at the University of Music and Theater Munich with world-renowned teacher Prof. Ana Chumachenco. Previously, she was a student of Prof. Petros Haykazyan at the Tchaikovsky School of Music in Yerevan and studied under the guidance of Prof. Eduard Tadevosyan at the Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory.

Currently residing in Switzerland, Diana spends time charting her professional growth, learning new repertoire, and focusing on recording projects. She has upcoming concerts with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic in the US, and in Europe with the Bruckner Orchester Linz, Uppsala Chamber Orchestra, Nuremberger Symphoniker, Deautsche Radio Philharmonie and the Saarbrucken Kaiserlautern.

In her biography, Ms. Adamyan credits the Armenian General Benevolent Union and YerazArt organization as having great impact in her early development. She is also the recipient of a scholarship from Deutsche Stifung Musikleben. Her previously mentioned Gagliano violin is generously on loan from the Henri Moerel Foundation.

(Note: Digital streaming of this concert is available by the presenter, the Celebrity Series of Boston, until December 15. Please visit www.celebrityseries.org for information)

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