Narek Hakhnazaryan

Real Name:
Նարեկ Հախնազարյան (Нарек Суренович Ахназарян)
Narek Hakhnazaryan (b. 1988), known in Russian as Нарек Ахназарян, is an Armenian cellist who won the gold medal at the ХIV International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. Narek was born in Yerevan in the family of professional musicians: his father Suren Hakhnazaryan (b. 1949) played the second violin in Komitas Quartet from 1984 to 2008, mother Gayane Hakhnazaryan is a pianist, and the elder brother Tigran Hakhnazaryan (b. 1978) is a conductor.

Narek joined the Moscow Conservatory in 2006 where he studied with Alexey Seleznev. He was mentored by Mstislav Rostropovich and received scholarships from the Russian Performing Arts Fund (2001) and the Rostropovich Foundation (2005). In 2009–11, Hakhnazaryan attended the New England Conservatory Of Music in Boston, Massachusetts where he took lessons from Laurence Lesser. He participated in workshops of Steven Isserlis, David Geringas, Paul Katz (2), Frans Helmerson, and Ralf Kirschbaum.

The cellist had won several high profile international competitions, such as Aram Khachaturian International Competition (2006) in Armenia, Johansen International Competition for Young String Players (2008), and the International Auditions of the Young Concert Artists (2008) in USA. At the XIV International Tchaikovsky Competition in 2011, Narek won the first prize for cello, received the Audience Award, and the special prize for the Best Concert Performance with Chamber Orchestra. He was named a BBC New Generation Artist in 2014.

Hakhnazaryan has performed with many prominent orchestras around the world, such as The London Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest and Orchestra Of The Mariinsky Theatre under Valery Gergiev, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ton Koopman (where he stood in for Yo-Yo Ma), Orchestra Of St. Luke's, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, NHK Kokyogakudan, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, and The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician, he gave recitals at the Carnegie Hall, John F. Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Salle Pleyel, Wigmore Hall, Konzerthaus Berlin, Wiener Konzerthaus, Oji Hall, Tokyo, and many other venues.

Until 2013, Narek Hakhnazaryan played a 1698 David Tecchler cello, on loan from Valentine Saarmaa (granddaughter of the renowned luthier Jacques Francais). He performs with a bow made by Benoît Rolland.