“Constantine Orbelian stands astride two great societies, and finds and promotes synergistic harmony from the best of each.”(Fanfare) 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.
Choi Sown Le
Choi Sown Le, an ABRSM scholar, graduated from the Royal College of Music, London and the Conservatoire de Musique, Geneva where he was awarded the Premier Prix de Virtuosite with Distinction in piano performance. His teachers included Arturo Benedetti Michelageli and Sergiu Celibidache.
As soloist he performed with the Prague Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Central Orchestra of Beijing, KBS of Korea and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, with conductor Maxim Shostakovich and Arpad Gerecz.
Guest conductor of the Camerata de Suisse Romande, Fribourg Chamber Orchestra, Swiss Soloist Ensemble and Macau Chamber Orchestra. He was co-founder of the Hong Kong Symphony Orchestra, and founder, artistic director and conductor of the Hong Kong Symphonia, artistic director of the Hong Kong-Asia Piano Open Competition and Macau-Pan Pacific Piano Competition.
Jury member of the Leeds, Animato-Paris, Viseu, Scriabin competition.
Honoured Artist of Russia;
Professor of Moscow P. I. Tchaikovsky Conservatory;
The Director of the Central Music School at Moscow State P. I. Tchaikovsky Conservatory;
A grant-holder of the Foundation “Russian Performing Art”.
In 2001 – 2011 and in 2015 – 2016 was the Head of the Piano Department of the CMS.
Has been awarded with the Honorary Diploma of the Ministry of Culture of Russia (2009);
Has been awarded with the Honorary Prize of the International Charity Foundation of Vladimir Spivakov “The Best Teacher of the Year” (2010);
A laureate of the All-Russian Competition “The Best Teacher of Children’s Arts Schools” (2010);
In 1968 – 1979 was a student of the Central Music School at Moscow State Conservatory (the class of the Honoured Teacher of Russia A. D. Artobolevskaya);
In 1979 – 1984 was a student of Moscow Conservatory (the class of Prof. A. Nasedkin). Graduated from the Conservatory with honours.
In 1986 – 1988 was an intern assistant at Moscow Conservatory.
Performed in almost all the cities of the USSR, in the following concert halls: the Grand Hall, Maly Hall and Rachmaninoff Hall of Moscow Conservatory, P. I. Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, in the Hall of Columns of the House of the Unions, the Grand Halls of St. Petersburg, Kiev, Yerevan Philharmonic Societies, Kioi Hall (Tokyo, Japan), Gewandhouse (Leipzig. Germany); also performed in Austria, Hungary, Germany, Serbia, Slovenia, France, Switzerland, etc.
A recognized chamber musician. During many years was a constant partner in the duet with the People’s Artist of Russia M. Khomitser (cello). Besides, repeatedly performed together with the People’s Artists of Russia, such as: V. Ivanov and M. Yashvili; with Honoured Artists: A. Zagorinsky, E. Petrov.
A laureate of the International J. S. Bach Competition in Leipzig (1984).
A record has been released by the Firm “Melody”, CDs have been released in Holland and a documentary has been made in Japan. Numerous recordings have been made for the radio.
Since 1984 has been working for the Central Music School.
Since 1994 has been working at the Piano Department of Moscow State Conservatory, first as an assistant; since 1999 has been teaching at his own class.
In 1999 became a docent, in 2009 became a Professor of the Special Piano Department directed by Prof. S. Dorensky.
The author of the idea and one of the organizers of the International Competition of Young Musicians annually held by the CMS. On regular basis cooperates with the International Charity Foundations of V. Spivakov, V. Krainev, M. Rostropovich; with the Foundations “New Names” and “Russian Performing Art”.
Arranged master classes in various cities of Russia and also in Bulgaria, Serbia, Slovenia, France, Japan, China, Mexico, Italy.
A jury member of many competitions, such as “The Nutcracker”, Rotary, A. D. Artobolevskya Competition, International Competition of Young Musicians held by the CMS, “Open Europe”, International Youth P. I. Tchaikovsky Competition, Astana Piano Passion, Grand Piano Competition.
Pedagogical activity occupies an important place in his life. His students repeatedly participated in the music festivals in Europe, Asia and America, including the following events: Rheingau Musik Festival (Germany), Verbier Festival (Switzerland), “Crescendo” (Moscow, New York), La Roque d’Antheron (France). The disciples of V. Pyasetski performed together with the symphony and chamber orchestras directed by the outstanding conductors: Yu. Bashmet, M. Pletnyov, V. Gergiev, A. Rudin, Yu. Simonov, V. Spivakov, S. Sondecskis, V. Fedoseev, A. Sladkovsky and others.
More than 110 times V. Piassetski’s students became laureates of the international competitions.
As a teacher V. Piassetski registers many impressive victories and laureate titles of his pupils: two titles at the “Eurovision Song Contest”, two titles at the International P. I. Tchaikovsky Competition, five victories (Grand-Prix including) at the International V. Krainev’s Competition, at Chopin Competition, three first prizes at “The Nutcracker” and the main prize of the “Junior Musician of the “Culture” TV Channel” (2010), the first prize at “Rotary” competition.
Among the participants of the “adult” category of his students it is quite enough to mention Denis Matsuev, the winner of the XI International P. I. Tchaikovsky Competition (1998).
His other students are the winners of the International Busoni Competition in Bolzano (Dinara Nadzhafova), the winner of the I International S. Heuhaus Competition (Arseni Aristov), the winner of the IV International S. Rachmaninoff Competition in Moscow and the winner of the International Competition in memory of V. Horowitz (Alexander Sinchuk).
In 2015 V. Piassetski’s disciple Daniil Kharitonov became the III Prize laureate of the XV International P. I. Tchaikovsky Competition.
Boris Petrushansky`s highly original creativity and vivacious personality have gained him wide recognition as a concert pianist.
Born in 1949 in Moscow, he started playing piano at the age of five, supported by a strong musical family, and had among his teachers the eminent Heinrich Neuhaus. After studying with Lev Naumov, he graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in 1975, having already distinguished himself in major international competitions, for example at Leeds in 1969, Munich in 1971, and Terni in 1975, where he won first prize.
Ever since the summer of 1975 when he gave two unforgettable recitals at the “Festival dei due Mondi” at Spoleto and the “Maggio Musicale Fiorentino” Festival (substituting Richter), Petrushansky has not looked back. His performances have taken him to Italy, Finland, Sweden, Great Britain, Germany, France, Belgium, Austria, Czechoslovakia, USA, Hungary, Japan, Israel, Egypt, Mexico, Taiwan and Australia. He has made various recordings with Melodia (Russia), Art & Electronics (Russia-U.S.A.), Symposium (U.K.), Fone, Agora and Dynamic (Italy).In 2006 Stradivarius (Italy) has produced the complete piano works by D.Schostakovich.
The many orchestras that he has played with include: The Petersburg Filarmonic Orchestra, The State Symphony Orchestra of Russia, The Moscow Filarmonic, The Czech Philharmonic, The Berlin Staatskapelle, The Orchestra of the Academy of Santa Cecilia, The “Maggio Musicale Fiorentino” Festival Orchestra, The Helsinki Philharmonic, The Moscow Chamber Orchestra, European Community Chamber Orchestra, The “New European Strings”, The Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, etc.
He has played with many renowned conductors, such as J.Ferencik, E.Bour, V.Fedoseev, E.-P.Salonen, V.Gergiev, A.Lazarev, P.Bellugi, M.Atzmon, D.Kitaenko, S.Sondezkis, R. Abbado, M.Shostakovich, V. Jurowsky, Lu Jia and P.Kogan. Among his partners, to name but a few, have numbered the legendary Leonid Kogan, Igor Oistrach, Misha Maisky, Dmitri Sitkovetskiy, Valeriy Afanassiev, Borodin Quartet etc.
Boris Petrushansky is a member of jury of many international competition such as “F.Busoni” (Bolzano), “D. B. Viotti” (Vercelli), “A.Casagrande” (Terni) etc. In addition to his concert life, Boris Petrushansky is active in teaching field: from 1975 to 1979 he was teaching in Moscow Conservatory and now regularly gives Master classes in the Royal Academy of Dublin, the Purcell School of London, Rowan University (New Jersey), Van Cliburn Institute of TCU (Texas), Summer Academy of Verbier (Switzerland) and in many cities of Italy and Japan.
In June 2014 Boris Petrushansky was awarded the title of Academic by the “Accademia delle Muse” in Florence, Italy.
He is now resident in Italy and since 1990 has held a position at the Academia Pianistica “Incontri col Maestro” in Imola.
“a genius in his creativity”
– Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Lev Natochenny is an artist who defies simple classification. Described as a “real genius in his creativity” by European critics and a “rare master of his instrument” by New York critics, he combines innovation and intelligence, technical brilliance and attention to details of the musical text, and above all emerges with an astonishingly independent musical personality.
Influenced by the greatest artists as Sviatoslav Richter and David Oistrakh, Lev Natochenny received his formal education from the famed Moscow Conservatory in the class of eminent professors Lev Oborin and Boris Zemliansky. Having been recognized early for his unusually mature and inspired interpretations and mastery of the instrument Mr. Natochenny became the Assistant to Prof. Lev Oborin at an unheard of age of 19. He went on to receive his Diploma with Honors from the same Conservatory, where he continued to develop his taste for uncommonly independent style recognized by critics and audiences alike.
Subsequent honors, including Gold Medal “with particular distinction” in a scandal-marred 1981 F. Busoni International Piano Competition, First Prize in Young Artists International Piano Competition and Gina Bachauer Award, led to concert appearances in major halls throughout Europe and the United States with major American orchestras and most recently with Russian National Orchestra as both pianist and conductor. During these concert tours Lev Natochenny developed a particular affinity for chamber music with its special refinement and delicate intimacy. Performances with other world-class artists including cellist Mischa Maisky, clarinettist Stanley Drucker, violist Toby Hoffman, pianist Vladimir Feltsman, bassist Rustem Gabdullin, Penderecki, Cuirlionis Quartets and collaborations with major orchestras such as New York Philharmonic, Baltimore and Indianapolis Symphonies followed.
In addition to concertizing, Mr. Natochenny maintains a rigorous teaching schedule, with his students ranging from exceptionally talented youngsters to accomplished young professionals, most of them winners of national and international competitions.
Prof. Natochenny’s class is a rare, if not the only piano class where current students have contracts with 3 major recording labels: EMI Classics, SONY/BMG Classical and Deutsche Grammophon. Deeply scholarly, with a keen and comprehensive mind, Professor Natochenny has gained recognition for his spontaneous and personal approach to music and for his absolute dedication to his students, which has led to appointments to piano faculties of Manhattan School of Music, The Mannes College of Music, professorial position at City University of New York and a position of Distinguished Professor of Piano at the Hochschule für Musik (Music Academy) in Frankfurt am Main, Germany in addition to master classes in the U.S., Canada and in Europe, including such Eastern European countries as Yugoslavia, Lithuania, Hungary and adjudications in national and major international competitions such as “Busoni”/Bolzano, “Sydney”, “Cincinnati”, “Ennio Porrino”/Cagliari, “Yerevan” and others. In 1990 Lev Natochenny created a unique music forum for the most creative artists of all generations – Meranofest International Music Festival and Academy for Superior Piano Performance Studies – where the highest level of music making and preparation of young talent go hand in hand. After only two seasons Meranofest was already recognized as an important festival and listed in Milan’s “Guide to 100 most important festivals” with over 200 rave reviews of its concerts and master classes.
For the “Edizione Meranofest” Lev Natochenny has recorded an unusual combination of Schubert Piano Sonata and Brahms Piano Quintet, a compact disc, critical acclaim of which led to a second disc for “Marquis Classics” with baritone Kevin McMillan. This disc received a JUNO Nomination for the best classical disc of 1994. The next CD for “Marquis Classic” was released in 1996 with music of Schnittke and Schostakovich. In addition to these recordings Lev Natochenny has previously recorded for “Nuova Era” and “Newport Classic” labels. RAI, Italian TV made a portrait of Lev Natochenny in 2004 and HR, German TV made a portrait of the artist in 2005. He can also be heard on WQXR, WNYC and RAI, Italian Radio and Television Network.
Currently Prof. Natochenny is on the faculty of the Kalaidos Muskihochschule in Switzerland and the Founder and Artistic Director of the “International Piano Institute for Superior Performance Studies” in Bad Homburg, Germany.
born in Turku (1974), winner of the Second Prize of the
Zurich Geza Anda Piano competition 2000, not only
impressed the Jury under the chairmanship of Vladimir
Ashkenazy, he won the hearts of many members of the
public who attended the final concert in the Zurich
Tonhalle, and he walked off with the Geza Anda
Audience Prize. In 2005 he won the First Prize at the
Beethoven International Piano Competition in Bonn,
where he got the Audience Prize and Chamber Music
Prize as well. Besides of the Geza Anda Competition Henri Sigfridsson was awarded
the renowned ABOA Culture Prize in Finland, first prizes at the 1994 International
Franz Liszt Piano Competition in Weimar and at the 1995 “Nordic Soloist Competition”.
As a soloist Sigfridsson has played with the leading Finnish orchestras and numerous
orchestras in Europe, including the MDR Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, the Orchestre
National de Lille, the St. Petersburg Philharmonics, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra,
Berlin Konzerthaus Orchestra, the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, the Munich Symphony
Orchestra, the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, the Warsaw Philharmonic
Orchestra, the Camerata Salzburg, State Philharmonic Orchestras of Izmir and Istanbul
under the baton of prestigious conductors such as Sir Neville Marriner, Dorian Wilson,
Charles Olivieri-Munroe, Lior Shambadal, Georg Alexander Albrecht, Vladimir Askenazy,
Alexander Lazarev, Dennis Russel Davies and numerous others. He has made notable
performances in the Vienna Musikverein, Vienna Concert Hall, Berlin Philharmonie, Cologne
and Munich Philharmonie, Munich Prinzregententheater, Zurich Tonhalle, St. Petersburg
Philharmonie, Italy and Austria, Wigmore Hall London, Kennedy Center Washington,
Theatre Chatelet Paris, etc. Sigfridsson performs at very prestigious festivals like the
Augsburg Mozart Week, the St. Petersburg Musical Olympus Festival, Ruhr Piano Festival,
the Warsaw Beethoven Festival, Mondsee Festival, and the Salzburg Festival etc.
Sigfridsson began studying with Sдvy Nordgren at the Turku Conservatory and
later at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. He completed his studies at the Cologne
Music University with the highest distinction (Prof. Pavel Gililov). From 1995- 97 he
studied at the Franz Liszt Music University in Weimar (Prof. Lazar Berman). 2008-
2009 Sigfridsson had a guest professorship at the Graz University or Music
and Dramatic Arts in Austria. 2010 -2012 he was a guest professor at the Music
University Hanns Eisler in Berlin and from 2011 professor in Essen at the Folkwang
University as a holder of one of the highest chairs for piano in Germany.
Chairman of the Jury - chief conductor of the Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra in Lithuania, artistic director of Armenia's Yerevan Opera Theatre
Central Music School
of the Moscow "Tchaikovsky" Conservatoire
Academia Pianistica “Incontri col Maestro”, Imola
Choi Sown Le
International Piano Institute for Superior Performance Studies, Germany
Hong Kong International Piano Competition
Germany / Finland