Armen Babakhanian, Armenia
“…Mr. Babakhanian’s great strength is the phenomenally rich and substantial sound he draws from the piano”
"...Armen Babakhanian was pure and simple, the over-whelming talent….Every time he played, he demonstrated that he had something important to say and the technique with which to say it. His performances had a way of sweeping previous interpretations out of one’s mind…”
Piano & Keyboard Magazine
“…Imagination and phenomenal pianistic knowhow….he played Mussorgsky’s Pictures at Exhibitions so colorfully and subtly nuanced that one would think Ravel need not have orchestrated this composition…”
“…His energy is vibrant, his tone color individual and he has a fondness for decisively delivered personal interpretative gestures….. There’s an undeniable over-the-top quality in the playing of Armen Babakhanian, a very resourceful, big-toned, assertive player…”
The Irish Times
A prize-winner at several of the world's most prestigious international piano competitions including the Leeds, the Van Cliburn, the Guardian Dublin, the William Kappell, the Gina Bachauer, and the World Piano Competition, Armen Babakhanian has captured the imagination of the audiences and the critics alike through the intensity and honesty of his performances.
Mr. Babakhanian has given recitals in the USA, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Italy, France and Spain. He has appeared as soloist with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Irish National Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra (USA), Dallas Symphony, Utah Symphony, with Saint Petersburg Philharmonic under Yuri Temirkanov, with Moscow Philharmonic under Valery Gergiev, Russian Philharmonic Orchestra under Yurovsky, Slovenian Philharmonic and Israel Philharmonic among others.
Festival appearances include the Aspen, Interlochen, Santander and Baalbec Music festivals. Babakhanian’s performance of the Shostakovich Piano Quintet with the Takács Quartet during Santander Festival in Spain was named the best chamber music performance of the festival. Mr. Babakhanian has recorded for the ASV, Real Sound and Sigmund Classics labels. His performances have been broadcast on BBC, PBS (USA), ORF (Austria) and RAI (Italy) television networks. His recording of the Tchaikovsky piano sonatas has received rave reviews in the European press. Mr.Babakhanian’s recent recording of Complete Piano Works by Aram Khachaturian awarded the “Best Classical Album of the Year” at the Armenian Award 2007.
In addition to his performing career, Mr. Babakhanian has served as jury member for several international piano competitions, including the Gina Bachauer, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Khachaturian, Maria Callas, “Armenia”, Putra and most recently Brescia International Piano competitions. He has taught numerous master-classes in Russia, United Kingdom, Spain, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Iceland and the United States. Mr. Babakhanian is currently Professor at the Komitas State Conservatory in Yerevan, where he also received his musical education under Professor Anahit Bogdanyan.
In 2012 Armen Babakhanian became Dean of Piano Department at Yerevan State Conservatory.
In 2013 Mr.Babakhanian became Founder and Artistic Director of “Meknark” State Target Program of Talent Developing for Armenian young extraordinary musicians.
He recently has been launched historical recording project “Anthology of Armenian piano music” which includes more than 60 CD’s and covers almost entire heritage of Armenian piano music within two centuries.
During last concert seasons Mr. Babakhanian has been scheduled to perform recitals and concerto appearances as well as give master classes in Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Switzerland, France, Finland, Lithuania, Mexico, Guatemala, Ukraine, Russia, U.S.A, Thailand and Malaysia.
In 2008 Armen Babakhanian was awarded Gold Medal by Ministry of Culture for great contribution in Spyurk-Armenia relations. In 2009 Mr. Babakhanian was awarded Artist Emeritus from the President of Republic of Armenia.