“I own a cello by Y. Chen and had performed on it both recitals and performances with orchestras. I can say that I have only positive feelings about an instrument. It is quite versatile, with quite good tone and powerful projection. In my opinion, it can successfully compete with my already of modern instruments.”
Since winning the Cello First Prize and Gold Medal at the XIV International Tchaikovsky Competition in 2011 at the age of 22, Narek Hakhnazaryan has performed with most major orchestras and in recital and chamber music across the globe at many of the world’s most prestigious festivals. A former BBC New Generation Artist, Hakhnazaryan is currently one of the Vienna Konzerthaus’s Great Talents appearing regularly at the Konzerthaus in recital, chamber music and with orchestra. He has been described as “dazzlingly brilliant” (The Strad) and “nothing short of magnificent” (San Francisco Chronicle) and of his LAPO debut, the LA Times said “His command of the instrument is extraordinary”.
In past seasons, Hakhnazaryan has performed with orchestras such as the Orchestre de Paris, London Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio, Berlin Konzerthaus, Chicago Symphony, LA Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic orchestras, and with conductors such as Gergiev, Hrůša, Koopman, Metzmacher, Pletnev, Slatkin, Sokhiev, Robertson, Bringuier. He has toured Spain with the WDR Symphony/Saraste, the US with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra/Neemi Järvi and Japan with the Czech Philharmonic/Bělohlávek.
An eager chamber and recital performer Hakhnazaryan has played in halls such as the Salle Pleyel Paris, Berlin Konzerthaus, Shanghai Concert Hall, Carnegie Hall and Jordan Hall (Boston). In summer 2017 he toured SE Asia with concerts in Taipei, Seoul, Tokyo and Kyoto, where he performed the complete Bach cello solo suites and in 17/18 he performed in many major cities across North America, including New York City, Chicago, San Francisco and Toronto. Hakhnazaryan has performed at most major festivals world-wide including Verbier, Lucerne, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Beethovenfest Bonn, Kissinger Sommer, Moritzburg, White Nights, Ravinia, Aspen, Piatigorsky and Pau Casals amongst others. Together with Zuo Zhang and Esther Yoo, Hakhanzaryan is part of the Z.E.N. Trio, who have performed across the UK, SE Asia, and North America and have released their first recording on Deutsche Grammophon.
Mentored by the late Rostropovich, Hakhnazaryan received an Artist Diploma from the New England Conservatory of Music in 2011 where he studied with Lawrence Lesser. Prior to this he studied at the Moscow Conservatory with Alexey Seleznyov and at the Sayat-Nova School of Music in Yerevan with Zareh Sarkisyan. Hakhnazaryan has received scholarships from the Rostropovich Foundation and the New Names Foundation, 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 in Washington, DC and at Carnegie Hall.
Narek Hakhnazaryan was born in Yerevan, Armenia, into a family of musicians: his father is a violinist, his mother a pianist, and he performs regularly with his brother, the conductor Tigran Akhnazarian. In September 2017 he was awarded the title of “Honored Artist of Armenia” by the President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan. Hakhnazaryan plays the 1707 Joseph Guarneri cello and F.X. Tourte and Benoit Rolland bows.