Aram Demirjian is a dynamic emerging leader on the American musical landscape. Known for his “confident and expressive style” (Kansas City Star), Demirjian bridges the musical traditions of the past with the cultural appetites of the present, forging a magnetic rapport with audience members and creating inspiring musical experiences in both familiar and progressive concert formats.
The 2016-17 season will be Demirjian’s most active to date, including his debuts with The Philadelphia Orchestra, which he will conduct on separate programs, and as the newly-appointed Music Director Designate of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, where he will conduct five Masterworks weeks. Additional upcoming dates include two return engagements with the Louisiana Philharmonic, debuts with the Corpus Christi Symphony, Fresno Philharmonic and Illinois Symphony and his European debut on the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra’s Dominicales series, which features rising conductors of the next generation. Recent guest conducting highlights includes concerts with the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Memphis and Omaha Symphonies. Demirjian is also regularly engaged as cover conductor with The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, with which he has assisted Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Andris Nelsons, Stéphane Denève, Christoph von Dohnányi, Manfred Honeck, and others.
In four years as Associate Conductor of the Kansas City Symphony (KCS), Demirjian conducted over 200 total performances comprising every series that the orchestra presents, including subscription concerts and critically acclaimed annual performances of Handel’s Messiah that were lauded for their “zeal and fresh perspective” (KC Metropolis). Among his most substantial achievements, was his instrumental involvement in designing and launching Classics Uncorked, a widely acclaimed series presenting weeknight classical concerts which enhance the concert hall experience with thematic programming, narration, visual effects, musical demonstrations and audience interaction. These performances attracted thousands of first-time and long-time patrons and earned the recognition of such organizations as 21cm Magazine, which featured the series as its January 2016 “POP Pick,” and the New World Symphony’s New Audiences Initiative.
In addition to his orchestral performances, Demirjian showcases his versatility in a variety of special projects. In 2014, he was featured as a guest artist in the Tanglewood Music Center’s Festival of Contemporary Music, conducting performances of Jacob Druckman’s Bo, and Kate Soper’s Helen Enfettered, which the New York Times hailed as the “most memorable” offering of the festival. He has collaborated with his alma mater, Harvard University, on two unique interdisciplinary events: Witness, a commemoration of the ratification of the Human Rights Accord, where he conducted Yo-Yo Ma and members of the Silk Road Ensemble in Dimitri Yanov-Yanovsky’s Night Music, Voices in the Leaves; and Whitman, Composed and Considered, a performance and conversation with John Adams, where Demirjian conducted Adams’ The Wound Dresser. Equally comfortable in the opera pit as on the podium, in 2010 Demirjian produced, directed and conducted a charity performance of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro in collaboration with Partners in Health: Symphonic Relief for Haiti. He has also conducted productions of Bernstein’s Candide and Copland’s The Tender Land.
Demirjian recently was the only American among seven conductors selected by renowned maestro Bernard Haitink as an active participant in the 2016 Haitink Masterclass at the Lucerne Easter Festival. A three-time Conducting Fellow in the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen, in 2011 Demirjian was awarded the Aspen Music Festival’s prestigious Robert J. Harth Conducting Prize, a distinction given to only one conductor annually. That same year, he won Third Prize in the Memphis Symphony International Conducting Competition. He has also received instruction from Maestro Kurt Masur in the 2012 Kurt Masur Conducting Seminar.
A sincere believer in music’s capacity to empower, inspire and enrich, Demirjian is involved in a substantial breadth of community outreach initiatives with the goal of ensuring that everyone, regardless of age, background or circumstance, has access to great symphonic music. With the KCS, he programmed, scripted and conducted education concerts for nearly 45,000 elementary school students annually, and he will carry on his commitment to education through his work in Knoxville and Philadelphia. In April 2016, he partnered with the non-profit Arts in Prison to curate and host a Beethoven-themed performance, featuring musicians from the Kansas City Symphony, for inmates at the Lansing Correctional Facility. He also frequently serves as a clinician with middle and high school ensembles, most notably as the conductor of the 2014 Massachusetts All State Orchestra.
Demirjian was one of only two conductors in the inaugural class of the distinguished Orchestral Conducting program at New England Conservatory, where he earned his Master of Music. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, in music and government from Harvard University, where his conducting career began with a two-year appointment as music director of the Harvard Bach Society Orchestra. His primary teachers and mentors include Hugh Wolff, Robert Spano, Larry Rachleff and Michael Stern.
Friday, March 31, 2017 | 7:30 PM
Saturday, April 1, 2014 | 7:30 PM