Ruben Gazarian

  Ruben Gazarian was appointed musical director and principal conductor of the renowned Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn (Wurttemberg Chamber Orchestra) at the start of the season of 2002-2003. He has since then considerably developed the orchestra's range by adding romantic, early modern and contemporary composers to its traditional repertoire and by regularly extending the performing body to symphonic size. Some critics have already referred to him as the “young Bernstein” as a result of his musical intensity and conducting style.

Ruben Gazarian's musical education began quite early. He was given his first violin lessons by his father at the age of four. He was educated at the music college P.I. Tchaikovsky and studied further at the National Conservatoire in Yerevan, where one of his teachers was Ruben Aharonian, the first violinist of the famous Borodin Quartet. He also attended master classes of renowned musicians such as Joseph Silverstein, Janos Starker, Valery Gradow and Eduard Schmieder.

His career as a performer started in 1983, with recitals, chamber music and soloist performances with chamber and symphonic orchestras. In 1990 Ruben Gazarian became the violinist of the piano trio of the State Radio of Armenia - the youngest violinist ever in the ensemble's history. In addition to its numerous concerts at home and abroad, the trio made a great number of recordings for radio and television.

In 1991 Gazarian was appointed, by special contract, first violinist and soloist of the National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia. In October 1992 he entered the Leipzig Conservatoire (Hochschule für Musik und Theater Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy) for a postgraduate violin study, concluded in 1995 with the obligatory concert performance, after which he registered for the curriculum of orchestra conducting, graduating in May 1998 with first-class honors.

From 1993 to 1998 Gazarian was employed as first concertmaster of the Westsächsisches Symphonieorchester (Symphonic Orchestra of Western Saxony). In 1999 he was appointed principal conductor of this orchestra after a long selection process, thus becoming Germany's youngest principal conductor, a position he kept until the summer of 2002. In September 2002 Ruben Gazarian was appointed principal conductor and artistic director of the Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn by unanimous decision of both the selection committee and the orchestra. Also in September 2002, shortly before taking up his position at Heilbronn, Ruben Gazarian became a laureate of the first 'Sir Georg Solti' international conducting competition in Frankfurt am Main, as one of three finalists chosen among 177 candidates from 39 different countries.

In the autumn of 2002 a CD came out with works by Fritz Geißler which shows Gazarian in his dual capacity of soloist in the violin concerto and of conductor in the first symphony.As guest conductor Ruben Gazarian has directed such renowned orchestras as the Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart, the WDR-Sinfonieorchester Köln, the hr-Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt, the Hamburger Symphoniker, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, the Frankfurter Museumsorchester, the Hessisches Staatsorchester Wiesbaden, the Orchestre National de Lyon and the Züricher Kammerorchester.

He also conducted numerous live and studio recordings for the Hessischer Rundfunk, the Südwestrundfunk, the Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Deutschlandradio, the Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, Radio Svizzera Italiana, Radio France Musique and Danmarks Radio (DR) Gazarian works successfully with acclaimed musicians such as Gautier and Renaud Capuçon, Julia Fischer, Hilary Hahn, Katia & Marielle Labèque, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Sabine Meyer, Viktoria Mullova, Sergey Nakariakov, Gerhard Oppitz, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Frank Peter Zimmermann, the Beaux Arts Trio, the Gewandhaus-Quartett and several others.The rich discography of the past years documents the extent of Gazarian's repertoire and the quality of his interpretations, born of meticulous rehearsal work, profound emotional understanding and firm mastery over a broad range of periods and styles.

In the summer of 2010 the town of Heilbronn organized a Beethoven Festival at Gazarian's initiative. This turned into a major event evoking a massive response in the region and well beyond: on the sole week-end no less than 6000 music lovers attended the festival concerts.In view of this overwhelming success, it was decided to create a biennial festival dedicated to the work of a chosen composer.In 2012 Ruben Gazarian will conduct a Schubert Festival.

 The live recording of the complete Beethoven symphonies conducted by Gazarian during the festival is now available as a 5 CD-SACD Box set, recorded both in stereo and multichannel 5.1 audio.This makes Ruben Gazarian the youngest conductor of his time to have recorded Beethoven's complete symphonies.