Narek Hakhnazaryan was awarded the Gold Medal at the 2011 XIV International Tchaikovsky Competition, the most prestigious prize given to a cellist. Already hailed a “seasoned phenom” by the Washington Post, and praised for his “intense focus and expressive artistry” by The New York Times, Hakhnazaryan is emerging as one of the most significant young artists on the world stage.
Hakhnazaryan ‘s recent debuts include performances with Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony and Mariinsky Orchestras, his debut with the Chicago Symphony, and his New York concerto debut performing the Elgar Concerto in Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. He has also made his debut with the London Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony, NDR Hamburg, Orchestre symphonique de Quebec, Vienna Chamber and Seoul Philharmonic orchestras. His summer festival appearances included a recital at the Ravinia Festival and performances at the Aspen Festival under David Robertson.
In the 2013-14 season, Hakhnazaryan appeared in recital at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall and throughout the US. He traveled for three weeks on a US tour playing Dvořák with the Estonian National Symphony conducted by Neeme Järvii and Nikolai Alexeev. He also made his debut with the Toronto Symphony playing the Rococo Variations and with the Sao Paulo Symphony playing Lera Auerbach.
Mentored by Mstislav Rostropovich, Hakhnazaryan was the only cellist invited to travel on behalf of Mstislav Rostropovich Foundation. As First Prize winner in the 2008 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, he debuted in the Young Concert Artists Series in New York at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
Hakhnazaryan was born in 1988 in Yerevan, Armenia, into a family of musicians: his father is a violinist and his mother is a pianist. His early studies were at the Sayat-Nova School of Music in Yerevan with Zareh Sarkisyan. At the age of 12, he began studies at the Moscow Conservatory with Alexey Seleznyov, and went on to work with Lawrence Lesser at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.