Posts Tagged ‘Aram Demirjian’

Kansas City, Here He Comes—to Conduct

March 30th, 2012 No comments

PHOTO: Jesse Weiner

A few weeks ago, Aram Demirjian ’08 received some exciting news: He had been selected as the new assistant conductor of the Kansas City Symphony. Demirjian, who jointly concentrated in Music and Government, conducted the Bach Society Orchestra and the Harvard-Radcliffe Gilbert & Sullivan Players as an undergraduate, and went on to complete masters studies at the New England Conservatory.

Demirjian will take up his post in the fall, diving in with the first concert in the season’s Family Series. In this program, he will pair up with another Harvard alum, John Lithgow ’67, who will be delivering his own narration to Saint-Saëns’s Carnival of the Animals, and will also be narrating an accompanied version of his children’s book about musical genius The Remarkable Farkle McBride.

Conducting the Family Series is just one of the many responsibilities Demirjian will take on in his move to Kansas City. In addition to family concerts, these will include conducting the KCS Pops Series and covering for the orchestra’s Classical Series. The move to Kansas City will also afford Demirjian the opportunity to work with the KCS music director Michael Stern ’81.

Demirjian conducting the Boston Pops. PHOTO COURTESY:

“I couldn’t ask to be with a better organization than the Kansas City Symphony,” says Demirjian. “The orchestra is really emerging on the American orchestral landscape, and there’s such vitality surrounding the organization. I will get to consistently be around and work with phenomenal professional musicians, with wonderful conductors who will be mentors and with a top-notch administrative staff. And it is a place where I feel I can contribute to the blossoming of the organization itself but it will also contribute to my growth with the orchestra, which is a rising star among orchestras in this country.”

The appointment marks a major milestone for Demirjian as a young conductor, but he did not necessarily plan on a conducting career before arriving at Harvard.

“I was not planning on going into conducting professionally, but because of the opportunities I had to conduct, I caught the conducting bug,” he says. “As an undergrad, it became clear to me that conducting was what I wanted to do. Harvard has been the constant for me as I’ve pursued my career in conducting – my teachers and mentors are people I can call on still, and it was the place where I first was really surrounded by consistent musical excellence.”

Harvard and NEC: Conducting expressivity

December 10th, 2010 No comments

Aram Demirjian '08 conducts the NEC Lab Orchestra under the incisive eye of Hugh Wolff '75. Photo: Andrew Hurlbut

Harvard conductors are pioneering the orchestral conducting program at New England Conservatory. With the vision of Maestro Hugh Wolff, NEC’s Director of Orchestras, the orchestral conducting program at NEC has taken on new form and new life with a highly selective, two-year graduate curriculum that is polishing the artistic leadership and musical character of talented young conductor, Aram Demirjian (Harvard ’08, NEC MM ’11). Aram is in the first class of conductors with only one other student, Joshua Weilerstein.

Photo: Andrew Hurlbut

Along with course work in score reading, instrumentation, orchestration, and performance practice, seminars and private lessons, Aram’s conducting skills are being developed to the fullest and will be on display 8:30 p.m. Friday, December 10 (tonight) at NEC’s Brown Hall in a concert free and open to the public, featuring Beethoven’s Overture to Leonore No. 3, Op. 72, Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy-Overture (1870), and Schumann’s Symphony No. 1 in B-flat major, Op. 38, Spring. See Harvard’s own Aram Demirjian in action on the podium — with his focused expressivity achieved by economy of gesture that I remember even from his days conducting my chamber group in Music 93r in ’07-’08 — conducting the NEC Lab Orchestra in its culminating concert of the semester.

Continuing my series of conversations about music with Hugh Wolff, today’s post presents Maestro Wolff’s views about Harvard composers, John Adams ’69, MA ’72, and John Harbison ’60, who help to shape the future of music as composers, critics, and intellectual American voices.

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Hear Maestro Wolff’s insights into the music scene and orchestral concert audiences in Frankfurt, Germany compared to those in North America. Maestro Wolff propounds that John Adams has worldwide appeal, known to international audiences, and compares this to North American audiences’ reception of new music. Maestro Wolff shares his ethos of programming new music, earning the trust of your orchestra, and feeling that new music should be a part of the mainstream of what an orchestra does — completely integrated into the concert subscription series. Read more…