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Ara Malikian

Ara Malikian is undoubtedly one of the most brilliant and expressive violinists of his generation. In possession of a personal style, forged from his own origins and rich musical experience, his artistic voice has emerged as an original and innovative presence on the world musical scene. Born in Lebanon in 1968 to an Armenian family, Ara Malikian began studying the violin at a very early age with his father. His talent was recognized and nurtured despite the difficulties encountered because of the war, forcing him to study during long periods of time in air-raid shelters. He gave his first concert of significance at the age of 12 and when he was 14, German conductor Hans Herbert Joris heard him and obtained a grant from the German government to study at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hannover. At 15, he was the youngest pupil to be admitted in this prestigious centre for higher musical studies. He later furthered his studies at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, and studied with renowned professors such as Franco Gulli, Ruggiero Ricci, Ivry Gitlis, Herman Krebbers and members of the Alban Berg Quartett. An undiminishing musical and human restlessness have led Ara Malikian to deepen his relationship with his own Armenian roots, and to assimilate the music of other cultures like those of the Middle East (Arab and Jewish), Central Europe (gypsy and kletzmer), Argentina (tango) and Spain (flamenco). All this is achieved within a personal language in which the rhythmic and emotional strength of these types of music go hand in hand with the virtuosity and expressiveness of the great European classical tradition. With a wide-ranging repertoire, that includes the great majority of all the important pieces written for the violin (concertos with orchestra, sonatas and pieces with piano and chamber music), he has also premiered works by modern composers such as Franco Danatoni, Malcolm Lipkin, Luciano Chailly, Ladislav Kupkovich, Loris Tjeknavorian, Lawrence Roman and Yervand Yernakian. Malikian is also one of the few violinists who plays recitals for solo violin with programs featuring completes cycles of significant works such as the 24 Paganini Caprices, the six sonatas of Eugene Ysaÿe, and the sonatas and partitas of Bach. Malikian has been recognized in many competitions of worldwide reputation, including first prizes at the International Competitions “Felix Mendelssohn” (1987, Berlin, Germany) and “Pablo Sarasate” (1995, Pamplona, Spain). In addition, he has been prizewinner in the competitions “Niccolo Paganini” (Genoa, Italy), “Zino Francescatti” (Marseille, France), “Rodolfo Lipizer” (Gorizia, Italy), “Jeunesses Musicales” (Belgrade, Yugoslavia), “Rameau” (Le Mans, Francia), “International Artists Guild” (New York, USA), and the “International Music Competition of Japan”. In 1993 he received the “Prize for Artistic Devotion and Achievement” from the German Ministry of Culture. Malikian has performed in the most important concert halls of the world in more than 40 countries on five continents: New York (Carnegie Hall), Paris (Salle Pleyel), Viene (Musikverein), Toronto (Ford Center), Madrid (Auditorio Nacional and Teatro Real), Venice, Los Angeles, Taipei, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Cuba, Barcelona, and Bilbao, among many others. He has also participated in the festivals at Aspen, Colamar, Prades, Schleswig Holstein, Braunschweig, San Sebastian, Segovia, Bergen, Freden, Metlach and Prague. As soloist, he has performed with orchestras such as the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Zürich Chamber Orchestra, London Chamber Orchestra, Genova Opera Orchestra, Sinfónica de Madrid, Sinfónica de Portugal, Chamber Orchesta of Tubingen, Moscu Virtuosi, Belgrade Philharmonic, Toulouse Chamber Orchesta, Armenia Philharmonic and Orquesta de la Comunidad de Madrid under the direction of such important directors as Mariss Janssons, Peter Maag, Jesús López Cobos, Vladimir Spivakov, Miguel Ángel Gómez-Martínez, Luis Antonio García Navarro, Vassili Sinaisky, Edmond de Stoutz, Gudni Emilson, and JoAnn Falletta. One of his most productive relationships has been the one he has established since 1995 with the Armenian pianist Serouj Kradjian, with whom he has recorded the complete cycle of sonatas by Robert Schumann (Hänssler) and the record “Miniatures” (Malkrafon), a unique anthology of music for violin and piano written by Armenian composers. His extensive discography includes numerous discs for record companies such as BMG, Auvidis, Trittico Classics and Elite Music in a wide variety of repertoire. His recording of Vivaldi's Four Seasons has sold more than 80,000 copies to date. Ara Malikian's close collaboration with José Luis Montón, one of the most noteworthy flamenco guitarists at this moment, has opened new roads for Spanish music. He has also worked with, among others: the Lebanese singer Fairuz, the flamenco dancers Joaquín Cortés and Belén Maya, the Ensamble Nuevo Tango and the jazz pianist Horacio Icasto. He has extended his musicianship to include work with film composers such as Pascal Gainge and Alberto Iglesias, with whom he recorded the soundtrack for “Hablé Con Ella”, the Academy Award winning movie by Pedro Almodovar. Ara Malikian is an exclusive artist of Warner Spain with whom he recently recorded two CDs: “Manantial” accompanied by the flamenco guitarist José Luis Montón, and a double CD with some of the most significant works of Paganini, including his 24 Caprices for Solo Violin. Ara Malikian currently resides in Madrid.

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