Distinguished for the musical color, brilliance and excitement of his performances, the talented Armenian pianist and composer Karen Hakobyan has been acclaimed for his individual style and depth of his interpretations. Hakobyan has received numerous awards, both for performance and composition. In 2010 Hakobyan won Bronze Medal in the World Piano Competition (international) in Cincinnati. In 2006 Hakobyan won 1st prize in the MTNA state piano competition. In 2004 Hakobyan won 1st prize in the Four Corners Piano Competition, and The Fite Piano Competition. In 2003 he won 1st prize in the Pinault International Audiotape/Videotape Piano Competition, 1st prize in the Tourgee DeBose National Piano Competition, and 1st prize in the SummerArts Piano Competition. He has also been a top prize winner in the Armenian Legacy Pianists International Piano Competition (2nd prize) and the International Festival of Creative Pianists.
Karen Hakobyan will be featured in 3 special concerts during Carnegie Hall's 2010-2011 Season. Other engagement highlights include performances with Orchestra of the Province of Tucuman, Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra and solo recitals at Steinway Hall and the Harvard Club. Mr. Hakobyan has been a soloist with the Summer Arts Festival Orchestra, Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Armenia's "Serenade" Chamber Orchestra, Armenian National Chamber Orchestra, the University of Utah Philharmonia, the Salt Lake Symphony, the New American Symphony and the World Festival Orchestra. He has presented solo recitals in Armenia, the United States, Germany and France. His debut recital at Carnegie Hall in New York City on October 4, 2003 was very well received. Phillip Dieckow, concert pianist, New York reviewer, founder and director of the Dieckow School of Music in Hoboken, wrote in his review of Mr. Hakobyan's performance: "It is very difficult for me to be objective with this pianist. I am seldom moved to tears by performances any longer and even more seldom so delighted with breath-taking playing that I feel like dancing. Both were evoked during this young man's performance."
Mr. Hakobyan regularly appears in prestigious festivals and concert series. Some of his festival performance highlights include: the "Lille International Piano(s) Festival" in France in 2005 where he was featured with internationally renowned artists such as Boris Berezovsky, Nicholas Angelich, Piotr Anderszewski, and Philippe Bianconi: "The Pianist as Composer" Festival at Mannes College of Music in 2008 and "The Mendelssohn Salon Yearlong Festival" in 2009 in New York City. He was also featured at "Keys to the Future" Contemporary Music Concert Series in 2009 and 2010 in New York City. His recent performance of Vuk Kulenovic's "Virginal" in Le Poisson Rouge on the closing night of the "Keys to the Future" festival was described as "sensitively rendered" by New York Times. Mr. Hakobyan's performances have been broadcasted on WQXR New York's Classical Radio Station and on Armenian National Radio. Karen Hakobyan recently completed Professional Studies Diploma at Mannes College of Music, studying with Dr. Arkady Aronov and will be pursuing PSD program at Manhattan School of Music in the fall of 2010.
Hakobyan is a winner of the 2004 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Competition. His "Two Pieces for String Quartet" was awarded the Amadeus Diploma for Composition in 1998 during a competition held jointly by the Belgian Amadeus Association and the Armenian Musical Assembly. In the same year his work was included in the 12 best compositions at the Group Quest (USA) International Competition. In 2002 he was awarded the prestigious Robertson Scholarship in Composition at the University of Utah, primarily based on his Second Symphony, which was performed in Berlin in 2001 at the Young Euro-classic International Festival by the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra.
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