The Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra was formed some 70 years ago in Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia. Today the more than one-hundred piece ensemble makes it home in the Khachaturian Hall in central Yerevan. As the leading symphony orchestra in Armenia, it routinely performs weekly concerts in Khachaturian Hall. The Armenian Philharmonic is a unique orchestra, since all its members are Armenian-born and educated at the Yerevan, Moscow and St. Petersburg Conservatories.
In the past the orchestra was conducted by Valery Gergiev, and among the many gifted celebrities that graced the Aram Khachaturian concert stage, appearing with the orchestra, were Rostropovich, Richter, Khachaturian, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Schedrin, Isaac Stern, Kogan, Van Cliburn, Ricci, Andre Watts, Kremer, Ashkenazy, Goodman, Britten, Spivakov, to name a few. Many renowned composers, such as Dmitry Shostakovich, Benjamin Britten, Aram Khachaturian, premiered their works with the APO.
In September 1989, composer and conductor Loris Tjeknavorian was appointed Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the orchestra, making it the first time that an overseas artist has held a full time post in the ex-Soviet Union.
In December 1989, the orchestra toured major cities of the United States, receiving critical acclaim. In commemorating the Mozart bicentennial, Austrian Television, the ORF, recorded 11 overtures with the APO. This recording was the official gift from the ORF to their professional associates worldwide. The orchestra has since participated in many major summer festivals, receiving critical acclaim in international press, and recorded extensively, i.e. in Austria, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, UK, Iran, Greece and Cyprus.
Since 1990, the Armenian Philharmonic has toured numerous CDs distributed throughout the world. The British Hi-Fi magazine selected one of the recordings of the Armenian Philharmonic as the Best Record of the Month.
Thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Armenian General Benevolent Union President, Mrs. Louise Manoogian Simone, the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra and the Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall are able to continue their activities.
Loris Tjeknavorian, Artistic Director & Principal Conductor
Loris Tjeknavorian studied at the Vienna Academy of Music, under Carl Orff at the Salzburg Mozarteum, and at the University of Michigan.
He has lived for many years in Vienna and New York, and in London, where he regularly conducted at the Royal Albert Hall, the Barbican and the Royal Festival Hall. He has worked with many of the world’s leading Orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the London Symphony, the Helsinki Philharmonic, and the English Chamber Orchestra, and has toured widely in Japan, the Far East and Israel, in Western Europe, the ex-Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and in the USA, Mexico and Brazil.
As an exclusive artist with RCA, he has made many critically acclaimed recordings, and was among the first conductors to make digital recordings for US Chalfont Digitall, which were awarded by international music magazines, i.e. Records and Recordings Magazine – Pick of the Year; Gramophone Recommended Recordings; Billboard Bestselling Chart Entry; High-Fidelity Critics Choice; Penguin Stereo Record Guide Recommendation; EMG Art of the Record Recommendation.
As a composer, his entire catalog of over 40 compositions: 5 symphonies, 2 operas, chamber music, concertos, and choral works, i.e. Requiem and the complete setting of St. John’s Apocalypse, is distributed worldwide exclusively by Boosey & Hawkes, Music, and his recent piano works are published by the Schott Verlag, Germany. His latest full-length ballet Othello (based on Shakespeare) was premiered in 1985 in London by the Manchester Ballet Company, and its performance by the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by the composer was recorded by the EMI (Angel Records).
Appointed Principal Conductor of the Armenian Philharmonic in 1989, Loris Tjeknavorian has toured extensively with that orchestra throughout Europe and the US, as well as made recordings for international recording companies. His “Les Danses Fantastiques” were recorded by the ASV British Recording Company, and his Fairy Tale Suite – by the Austrian TV. Recently a CD was released including his Rostam and Sohrab Opera Suite and the Piano Concerto.