Renowned conductor Aram Gharabekian passed away in the US today at the age of 58, the Armenian Ministry of Culture informs.
Born in 1955, he graduated from the New England Conservatory with a Master’s degree in Composition, and continued his postgraduate studies in Musical Phenomenology at Mainz University in Germany. He studied conducting with Franco Ferrara in Italy, and was one of a few pupils of the legendary conductor Sergiu Celibidache. He was also granted a fellowship to study composition and conducting under Jacob Druckman and Leonard Bernstein at Tanglewood Music Center.
From 1997 until 2010 Mr. Gharabekian served as Music Director of the National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia, leading this acclaimed ensemble on tours to Greece, the United Arab Emirates, Cyprus, Switzerland, England, Russia, Lebanon, Georgia, Germany, France, Canada and the U.S
Mr. Gharabekian was formerly the Principal Guest Conductor of the Ukrainian Radio & Television Symphony Orchestra in Kiev. Following a critically acclaimed guest appearance with the Ukrainian National Symphony Orchestra in 1991, Mr. Gharabekian was invited by the Ukrainian Minister of Culture to assume the position of Artistic Advisor and Conductor.
During his tenure with that orchestra he conducted performances in Kiev and on tour throughout Ukraine, and successfully regenerated its artistic and organizational capacity. During his eight years as Music Director of Boston’s SinfoNova Orchestra, Mr. Gharabekian won national recognition for his innovative and enterprising programming, as well as his critically acclaimed performances in major American venues, including Carnegie Hall, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and Boston’s Symphony Hall and Jordan Hall.
As a guest conductor, Mr. Gharabekian has been the Principal Guest Conductor of the Zagreb Philharmonic, and appeared with the Sinfonietta München in Germany and Italy. He has also led the Ukrainian National Symphony, the Ukrainian State Opera and Ballet of Kiev, the West Ukrainian Philharmonic in Lvov, the Armenian Philharmonic, and returned to America to conduct the Shreveport Symphony and the Fresno Philharmonic.
Mr. Gharabekian’s concert recordings have been broadcast on National Public Radio, and he has made numerous recordings for Ukrainian, Croatian and Armenian Radio and Television, Boston’s WBZ-Television, WBUR, WGBH and WCRB FM radio stations in Boston, WNYC FM in New York, the Voice of America in Washington, and Bayerischer Rundfunk in Munich. The recipient of the 1989 Lucien Wulsin Performance Award for the best concert performance aired on America’s National Public Radio, Mr. Gharabekian was also awarded the 1988 American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Award for Adventuresome Programming. He was twice honored by the Harvard Musical Association’s “Best Performance Award” and his performances have been singled out as “Best of 1985, 1989, 1990 and 1991” by the Boston Globe. He is the recipient of the Presidential Medal for his contributions to the arts in Armenia.