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.
Hakhnazaryan is a compelling artist, a true virtuoso with an innate musicality and an exceptional talent for connecting with his audience. 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”.
Highlights of Hakhnazaryan’s 19/20 season include debuts with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Philharmonia Zurich, Antwerp Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, Queensland Symphony, Xi’an Symphony, Filarmonica del Teatro Comunale di Bologna and at the Eufonie Festival in Warsaw and return engagements with the BBC Scottish Symphony and Essen Philharmonic amongst others, with conductors such as Honeck, Noseda, Ashkenazy and Netopil. In recital he appears in the US and Austria and he will perform the complete sonatas of Beethoven across China, including at Shanghai Concert Hall and Guangzhou Opera House.
In chamber music he will perform at the Hong Kong Chamber Music Festival, in Lucerne at the invitation of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra and on a 6-concert tour of the US with the ZEN Trio (with Esther Yoo and Zuo Zhang). Hakhnazaryan will also be a featured soloist at the closing concert of the renowned Piatigorsky International Cello Festival in Los Angeles.
Hakhnazaryan has enjoyed a truly global career since his rise to fame in 2011 and has played with orchestras such as the Orchestre de Paris, London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio, Berlin Konzerthaus, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, LA Philharmonic, Baltimore Symphony, Sydney Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, NHK Symphony orchestras, and with conductors such as Gergiev, Koopman, Alsop, Lintu, Sokhiev, Robertson.
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. A former BBC New Generation Artist, he has performed with all the BBC orchestras and made a sensational debut at the BBC Proms.
In 2017 the Vienna Konzerthaus invited Hakhnazaryan to be a “Great Talent” and during the two seasons that followed he performed there regularly in recital, chamber music and with orchestra, most notably with the Vienna Symphony and Hrůša.
In Summer 2019 he performed in recital at the Verbier and Rheingau Festivals with Daniil Trifonov, and in the 18/19 season was enjoyed a 4-concert residency at London’s Wigmore Hall. In North America he performs regularly in recital, most recently in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco and Toronto and in past seasons has performed at Carnegie Hall and Jordan Hall (Boston). In 2017 he toured SE Asia, performing the complete Bach cello solo suites in Taipei, Seoul, Tokyo and Kyoto. An eager chamber musician, Hakhnazaryan has performed at most major festivals world- wide and in major halls across Europe with various chamber partners including Sergey and Lucine Khachatryan, Benjamin Beilman, Louis Schwizgebel and Sergey Dogadin as well as the ZEN Trio whose first recording has been released 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.