(piano player)
A prize-winner at several of the world's most prestigious international piano competitions including the Leeds, Van Cliburn, Guardian Dublin, William Kappell, Gina Bachauer, and World Piano Competition, Armen Babakhanian has captured the imagination of audiences and critics alike through the intensity and honesty of his performances.
Armen has given recitals in the USA, Canada, Japan, UK, 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, Saint Petersburg Philharmonic under Yuri Temirkanov, Moscow Philharmonic under Valery Gergiev, and the Israel Philharmonic. Festival appearances include the Aspen, Interlochen, Santander and Baalbec music festivals.
Babakhanian’s performance of the Shostakovich Piano Quintet with the Takacs Quartet at the Santander Festival in Spain was named the best chamber music performance of the festival. He has recorded for the ASV and Real Sound labels and his performances have been broadcasted on BBC, PBS (USA), ORF (Austria) and RAI (Italy) television networks. His recording of the Tchaikovsky piano sonatas received rave reviews in the European press.
In addition to his performing career, Armen Babakhanian has served as jury member for several International Piano Competitions, including the Gina Bachauer, Prokofiev and Rachmaninoff Piano Competitions. In 1999 he founded and served as Artistic Director for the Armenian Legacy International Piano Competition in Yerevan, Armenia. He has taught numerous master-classes in Russia, UK, Spain, Japan and the USA. He is currently an Artist-in-residence at the Komitas State Conservatory in Yerevan, where he also received his musical education.
During the 2001/2002 season, Armen Babakhanian appeared in concerts in 17 cities in Japan, USA, Canada, Australia and Finland. He also took part in a concert tour of France which included a recital in Lyon's famed Salle Moli're.
In 2008 Babakhanian was distinguished a Merited Artist of Armenia. Days before he had been awarded the Strengthening Cultural Ties Between Armenia and Diaspora Golden Medal from the Ministry of Culture.