Levon Ambartsumian was born in Moscow, where he studied in the Moscow Central Music School and then in the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory. His teachers were Felix Andrievski, Yuri Yankelevich, Leonid Kogan and Igor Bezrodny. In 1977 he became the First Prize winner of Zagreb International Violin Competition headed by Henryk Szeryng. Two years later he was a prizewinner of the Montreal International Competition, and in 1981 he won the All-Union Violin Competition in Riga, Latvia. Levon Ambartsumian was distinguished as Honored Artist of Armenia in 1988 and Honored Artist of Russia in 1997.
Since 1977 Mr.Ambartsumian has performed regularly all over the world. He has collaborated with conductors and composers such as Valery Gergiev, Vladimir Fedoseev, Maxim Shostakovich, Aram Khachaturian, Alfred Schnittke, and many others.
In 1989 Ambartsumian founded the Moscow Chamber Orchestra ARCO which regularly performed in Russia and abroad.
From 1978 to 1993 Levon Ambartsumian taught at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory and again from 2013. For two years (1993-1995) he was a Visiting Professor at Indiana University School of Music (Bloomington, Indiana).
In 1995, Ambartsumian accepted the position of Franklin Professor of Violin at the University of Georgia School of Music, while remaining the artistic director and conductor of ARCO. Because he was able to bring some of his students to America with him, the home base of the orchestra shifted to this hemisphere.
Ambartsumian devotes himself to contemporary Russian, Armenian and American Music and has made several important world premiers. He has released over 40 CD's including music by Wieniawski, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Vivaldi, Shostakovich, Schnittke, Podgaits, Bronner, Arutiunian and other contemporary composers. In May 2009 Ambartsumian was awarded a gold medal of the Moscow Composers Union for his contribution to the development of contemporary music and music culture.
As a teacher, Ambartsumian has given master classes in USA, Russia, Armenia, South Korea, Canada, Brazil, Italy and France. His former students hold principal positions in major European orchestras in Germany, France, Portugal, and Denmark, and many have been prizewinners at international Violin competitions well as full time college teaching positions.
Winner of the silver medal at the 1986 International Tchaikovsky Competition while still a student at the Moscow Conservatory, Bagratuni has gone on to a distinguished international career as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. In addition to performing throughout the former Soviet Union, he has toured worldwide, earning enthusiastic praise in both traditional and contemporary repertoire.
Born in Yerevan, Armenia, he began his musical education there at the age of seven. After winning several national and international competitions, he continued his studies at the Moscow Conservatory and later in the United States at the New England Conservatory of Music. Bagratuni began performing at age ten, and by age fourteen appeared as a concerto soloist performing Saint-Saens’ Concerto with the Armenian State Radio Orchestra. Since then he has performed with all the major orchestras in the former Soviet Union, including the Moscow Philharmonic (under the direction of Valery Gergiev) and has also appeared with numerous orchestras in Europe, Asia, and North and South America.
His solo appearances include recitals in the major concert halls of the world. Chamber music appearances have included guest invitations with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Newport Music Festival, the “Russian Winter” Festival in Moscow, the El Paso Pro Musica International Festival, Bargemusic, and international festivals in Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, Korea, China, and Taiwan.
Bagratuni has won critical acclaim for his CD releases on the Ongaku and BGR labels, featuring solo works for cello, solo suites by Bach, and sonatas by Beethoven, Debussy, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, and Shostakovich. He also appears on the Marco Polo, Russian Disc, Cambria, and CMH labels. He has recorded for “Melodiya” and been featured on CBC Radio Canada, WNYC in New York, WGBH in Boston, NPR, and NHK TV Japan.
In addition to his solo activities, he performs as a member of Trio Nobilis, serves as artistic director of the Cello Plus music festival, and conducts master classes worldwide. A former faculty member of the New England Conservatory and the University of Illinois, Bagratuni is currently Artist-Teacher and Professor of Cello at the Michigan State University College of Music.
The Russian conductor and cellist, Alexander Rudin, graduated from the Gnesin GMPI (now: the Russian Gnesin Academy of Musi)c in 1983 (his professors in cello and piano were Lev Evgrafov and Yury Ponizovkin respectively). He was a prize-winner and laureate of prestigious cello competitions including the “Concertino Prague” Competition (1972); the Bach Competition in Leipzig (Cello 1st Prize, 1976), Gaspar Cassado Competition in Florence (1979), and the 6th and 7th Tchaikovsky competitions in Moscow (1st Prize in 1978 and 2nd Prize in 1982). In 1989 he graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in Dmitry Kitaenko’s class and with a degree in conducting.
Alexander Rudin is one of the brightest artists of the modern Russian musical scene. A world renowned cellist, conductor, pianist, outstanding ensemble player, professor of the Moscow Conservatory, researcher of early music scores, orchestrator and creator of unique concert series – in all these roles Alexander Rudin is equally successful. He belongs to the new type of Russian performers – universal musicians.
Alexander Rudin performs worldwide and participates in festivals in Edinburgh, Istanbul, Kuhmo and Ljubljana. He was the honorary guest in the Classix Festival in Braunschweig, and has appeared as soloist with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic, Wiener Symphoniker, Orchestra of the Bavarian Opera, Münchener Kammerorchester, and all of the principal Russian Orchestras, including Pyotr Tchaikovsky Large Symphony Orchestra, and the Russian National Orchestra. As a conductor he performs regularly in Russia, Finland, Turkey, Poland, Norway and Spain. He frequently performs in chamber music as a cellist and pianist. His regular partners in chamber music performances are Yuri Bashmet, Alexei Lubimov, B. Davidovich, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Vladimir Spivakov, Natalia Gutman, and V. Krainev. A creative co-operation connects Alexander Rudin with Russian composers of different generations – Dmitry Kabalevsky, I. Tcherepnin, Edison Denisov, V. Silvestrov, Rodion Shchedrin, A. Golovin, Artyomov, Klimov and others.
In 1988 Alexander Rudin was appointed Artistic Director of the Festival Musical Assemblies. From 1988 he is Artistic Director and Conductor of the Musica Viva Chamber Orchestra, co-operates at the same time with the Austrian Arpeggione orchestra.
From 1989 Alexander Rudin is Professor and from 2002 – full Professor at the Moscow P. I. Tchaikovsky State Conservatory, teaches a chamber ensemble class. In 1991-1992 he was Visiting Professor to the Helsinki Sibelius Academy. In addition to this, he gives numerous master-classes all over the world, and collaborates with student orchestras as a conductor (the Student orchestra of the Moscow Conservatory, the Youth Orchestra of Ekaterinburg etc.). Since 1993 he has been the President of the ‘Musical Assemblies’ charity foundation. He has been a member of the jury of many international music competitions, including the 10th and 11th Tchaikovsky competitions and the Bach Competition (Leipzig, 1998), and he was the chairman of the jury of the 12th Tchaikovsky Competition in 2002.
Serves as juror in many international Competitions, including the 10th and 11th Moscow P.I. Tchaikovsky Competitions and the Leipzig J. S. Bach Competition, 1998. In 2002, President of the Jury of cellists at the 12th International P. I. Tchaikovsky Competition. In 2001, winner of the Moscow Administration Prize.
The musical versatility, which allows Alexander Rudin to work with striking intensity in very different musical spheres combined with a unique artistic integrity make him stand out even among his most progressive peers. In his work the maestro rigidly follows pursuits and experiments within pure academic traditions. “Music is not an encore,” says Alexander Rudin, “You can’t downgrade it to the level of pure entertainment”. The combination of lesser known and completely unknown music with new interpretations of classical “hits” is characteristic of most concert programmes by this artist. Due to his passion for unearthing and rediscovering forgotten music Moscow audiences heard many interesting works for the first time, such as: “Fantasy on Russian Themes” for cello and orchestra by K. Davydov, the cello concertos by A. Kraft, J.B. Tricklir, I. Fazius, R. Folkmann and the First Cello Concerto by A. Dvorak. Together with Musica Viva Chamber Orchestra he presented Moscow audiences with premiers of works by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, A. Salieri, I. Pleyel, J. Dussek, C. Dittersdorf, O. Kozlovsky, V. Pashkevich and A. Alyabiev.
Though Rudin received an academic musical training, he became interested in the authentic performance of early music. With time he achieved a perfect balance between the two: nowadays he plays concerts on the modern cello and the viola da gamba alike, performs Romantic music in the traditional academic manner, while Baroque and Classic masterpieces receive “historically correct” treatment. This “authentic” trend gave way to the orchestra’s collaborations with a number of world-class artists famous in this field, such as outstanding British conductors Christopher Hogwood and Roger Norrington. A significant part of Rudin’s repertoire includes works of contemporary composers (A. Golovin, V. Silvestrov, V. Artemov).
Alexander Rudin has recorded a few dozen CD’s. The most notable among them are: the Six cello suites by J.S. Bach (on Naxos), Cello concertos by J.B. Tricklir and N. Myaskovsky as well as a “Grieg-album”. The latter presents Rudin not only as a cellist and conductor, but also as a master of orchestral arrangement: Grieg’s chamber music here is performed using the maestro’s orchestration. Recent discs include recordings of works by A. Alyabiev and A. Tcherepnin, and a live recording of Beethoven’s Third Symphony with the Cello Concerto by A. Kraft in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory.
“The light tone of Maestro Rudin floated through the whole music surface with divine fluency, never loosing the beauty of the sound neither its intensity.” – StuttgartenZeitung
Anna Saradjian, prize-winner of many awards and competitions amongst which is a Gold medal from 1992 "Amadeus" National Competition and Bach Prize from Ettlingen International Competition, was born in 1977 into a family of musicians. She received her first lessons from her late grandfather, pianist and composer, Gyorgy Saradjev, who was also one of the founders of the Armenian piano school, and after continued her studies with her father, Prof. Sergei Saradjian.
In 1995 Anna received a scholarship to study at the Juilliard School. While in New York she made her debut at Carnegie Weill Recital Hall as well as frequently appearing at the Nantucket Summer Concert Series, Boston.
Upon completion of her Bachelors Degree from Juilliard in 1999 Anna came to continue her education with Hamish Milne at the Royal Academy of Music, London, UK.
In 2002 she was honoured with the award of Dip RAM, reserved only for outstanding performers.
During her career Anna has toured in France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Armenia, South Africa, USA, UK and Canada where she has appeared at the prestigious venues such as the South Bank Centre, the Wigrnore Hall and Place Des Arts. She has recorded for the Armenian National Radio and Television as well as the BBC Radio 3.
Her recent performances of Beethoven piano concerto in C Minor, No.3 and Brahms piano concerto in D minor, No.I, both with the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra have been highly acclaimed by the press. In addition to her solo performances, Anna takes great pleasure in chamber music collaborations.