Karen Durgaryan

Since September 2021 Karen Durgaryan is acting as General Director of the Armenian National Opera and Ballet Theatre, with the task to reposition the historical institution as one of the most important cultural players at regional and international level. Born in Yerevan, Armenia, Karen Durgaryan has been the Principal Conductor of the theatre for 15 years, between 2001 and 2015. He graduated from the Yerevan State Conservatory in 1996 and has studied with Prof. Ilya Musin in St. Petersburg in 1997. In 1995 he was appointed an Associate Conductor of the Armenian State Philharmonic Orchestra and the following year has been the Music Director of "Britten and Armenia" International Music Festival in Yerevan.

Durgaryan’s international activity has a special focus in Italy where he has conducted most of the orchestra and opera houses: the Teatro Lirico in Cagliari – where he will conduct again in November 2022 – the Teatro Regio Torino, the Teatro Carlo Felice, Genova, the Teatro Verdi, Sassari in addition to concerts with the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto and with the “Luigi Cherubini” Orchestra and the Toradze Piano Studio at the Ravenna Festival. He has appeared regularly with the Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana in Palermo, with the Orchestra “I Pomeriggi Musicali”, Milan and with the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto, where he will make his return in February 2023. Conducting an all-Prokofiev program Karen Durgaryan made a successful debut with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in November 2016 and in January 2017 has conducted for the first time the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra, where he returned in January 2019 for a program in the frame of the Klara Festival. In February 2018 Durgaryan made his first appearance with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra conducting two special ballet gala programs featuring the Armenian Ballet. In December 2018 he has made his debut at Teatro di San Carlo, Napoli with a production of Nutcracker, which he conducted again in December 2019.

Karen Durgaryan has regularly conducted the best opera houses in Russia: from 2008, he is regularly a guest of the Mikhailovsky Theatre in St. Petersburg and on tour. Since 2015 he is a regular guest conductor at the Novosibirsk State Opera and Ballet Theatre both at home and on tour conducting opera and ballet productions. He has also appeared often at the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg, where he has conducted the new production of “Spartacus” Ballet. He was invited at the White Nights Festival 2013, celebrating the opening of the new Mariinsky 2 and the 60th birthday of Maestro Valery Gergiev. Internationally, Durgaryan has conducted ballet productions at the Leipzig Opera, at the Opéra National de Lyon and in December 2016 made his debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper conducting a new production of Spartak by Aram Khachaturian, which he also led with the Royal Ballet of Wallonia in January 2017.

Since 2000 Karen Durgaryan has conducted major performances of Lebanese diva Fairuz, the greatest singer of Arabic world at numerous festivals and concert halls around the world. The CD “Fairuz Live at the Beiteddine 2000” produced by Ziad Rahbani with the EMI got the highest international acclaim.

Karen Durgaryan holds the title of Honored Artist of Republic of Armenia and in 2010 received the highest medal of Armenia in field of art and culture. His engagement for the musical development of his country continues as Music Director of the “Alexander Arutiunian International Wind Festival”, which takes place every year in June in Yerevan and provides a unique opportunity to local wind player to perform with the most renewed specialist worldwide.