National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia (NCOA)
Artistic Director and Principal Conductor
The National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia was founded in 1962 by prominent violinist Zareh Sahakiants. Due to his brilliant individuality and reputation, Zareh Sahakiants managed to unite a
group of dedicated musicians, and in a short period the orchestra gained a great reputation in Armenia and far beyond its borders. Zareh Sahakyants has left rich performing and creative
traditions, and the established traditions were further developed and enriched by the subsequent directors of the orchestra Kostandin Baghdasaryan (since 1975) and Ruben Aharonyan (since 1982).
In 1997 the orchestra was united with Yerevan Chamber Orchestra, founded in 1979 and headed by its conductor Zaven Vardanyan. As a result, the present National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia (NCOA) was formed. American-Armenian conductor Aram Gharabekian became its Artistic Director. The NCOA has commissioned and premiered more than 40 new works and encouraged the integration of traditional Armenian musical instruments such as duduk, zurna, shvi and kamancha in the works written for the orchestra. They have recorded CDs that included contemporary Armenian composers works for the development and promotion of the contemporary music.
The NCOA has successfully toured in the United States (Carnegie Hall, NY, Alex Theatre, LA), Canada, United Kingdom (Canterbury Festival, Canterbury), Germany (The Halle Festival, Halle),
Switzerland (Victoria Hall, Genève), Greece (Dimitria Festival, Thessaloniki Concert Hall), Russia (Catherine Palace, Glazunov Hall, St. Petersburg), Cyprus (Presidential Palace, Nicosia), Lebanon (American University of Beirut), United Arab Emirates (Cultural Foundation Theatre, Abu Dhabi) etc.
In 2011 Vahan Mardirossian has been appointed the Artistic Director & Principal Conductor of NCOA. Maestro Vahan Mardirossian has initiated the Road to Talents project, thanks to which the musicians have a chance to perform with NCOA and gain some experience.
In 2013, on the occasion of Aram Khachaturian’s 110th anniversary celebration, the National Chamber Orchestra has participated in several international festivals held in France, Switzerland and USA. In 2014, getting another invitation, the orchestra has performed in several cities of France and Switzerland /Festival Puplinge 5th Anniversary Concert, Victoria Hall, Geneva / receiving the highest appreciation of the audience. In 2015 on the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and in 2016/17 the orchestra had many concerts at
Cordes et Pics, Puplinge Classique, Festivaldes Nuits Pianistiques international festivals.
The orchestra has performances with many internationally renowned soloists and conductors as R. Galliano /accordion, France/, J-M. Phillips-Varjabedian /violin, France/, F. Mondelchi
/saxophone, Italy/, G. Campaner /piano, Italy/, T. Pfaff /piano, France/, F.-X. Poizat /piano, Swiss/, D. de Williencourt /cello, France/, Nikolay Madoyan /violin, Armenia/, Levon Chilingirian
/conductor and violin, UK/, G. Bortolato / oboe, Italy/, G. De Lorenzo /conductor, Italy/, D. Waldman /conductor, France/, M. Gardolińska /conductor, Poland/, Fedor Rudin /violin Russia/,
Alain Pâris /conductor, France/, G.T. Valli /clarinet, Uruguay/, etc.