Prize-winning pianist VARDAN MAMIKONIAN, still in his twenties, is earning a name for himself as an outstanding interpreter of the works of Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, Mozart, Brahms, Liszt and Ravel. This French-Armenian pianist has attracted the attention of the international public with his powerful and graceful technique and extraordinary musicianship.
In the 1999/2000 season, Mamikonian’s North American tour included orchestral performances of Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and David Stahl conducting, as well as recitals in Ohio, Oklahoma and California. In Europe, where he maintains an active concert schedule, Mamikonian appeared in recital on a tour of Germany and Paris, including performances of Liszt’s Second Piano Concerto with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto with the Strasbourg Symphony.
Additional highlights of recent seasons include concerts in Montreal with the ensemble I Musici de Montreal (Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 5); recitals in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Seattle, where Mamikonian scored quite a success when he stepped in at a moment’s notice; a tour of Italy playing Mendelssohn’s First Piano Concerto, and a tour with the Prague Symphony in which he performed concerti by Rachmaninoff, Paganini, and Chopin.
Born in Yerevan, Armenia, Vardan Mamikonian began taling piano lessons at the age of six at the Yerevan School of Music and played chamber music with his father, a violinist. Upon completion of his studies in Yerevan in 1987, he continued his studies at the Central Music School at the Moscow Conservatory for two years. From 1988 to 1991, he studied at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory with Valery Kastelsky (a pupil of Heinrich Neuhaus) and later with Lazar Berman. Mr. Mamikonian currently resides in Paris. In 1981, he was awarded First Prize at the Balis Dvarionas Soviet Piano Competition in Vilnius. Further first prizes followed in 1990 at the Lefébure Competition in Monte Carlo, exclusively reserved for the winners of international competitions.
Vardan Mamikonian has recorded Chopin’s Etudes Op. 10 and 25 on compact disc for the Calliope label, and works by Ravel, Tchaikovsky, Babadjanyan, Stravinsky and Khachaturian for Solstice. He recently began a series of recordings for Orfeo with an all-Liszt disc.