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BAGRATUNI FOR FOM (article first published : 2002-04-29)

Friends of Musicís recital programme continues with a performance on May 7 by the brilliant Armenian cellist Suren Bagratuni.

Winner of the Silver Medal at the 1986 prestigious Tchaikovsky Competition while still a student at the Moscow Conservatory, Armenian-born Suren Bugratuni has gone on to a distinguished international career. A soloist, recitalist and chamber musician, he has performed to enthusiastic praise throughout the former Soviet Union, Europe and the United States.

Suren Bagratuni began performing at the age of 10 and by 14 had appeared as a concerto soloist. He studied at the Moscow Conservatory where he was tutored by Professor Natalia Shakhovkaya and went on to win first prize in the Vittorio Gui Competition in Italy in 1981.

n the United States he was awarded the Artist Diploma of the New England Conservatory of Music under the direction of Professor Laurence Lesser. He has performed with all the major orchestras in the former Soviet Union and many of the major European orchestras.

Recital and chamber music appearances have included guest invitations with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Centre, the Newport Music Festival, Festival of the Hamptons, the Russian Winter Festival in Moscow, the El Paso Promo Musica Festival, and international festivals in Switzerland, Mexico and Taiwan. His solo appearances have included recitals in Moscow, St Petersburg, Leipzig, Dresden and Berlin, Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, the Krannert Centre in Illinois, Worcester's Mechanics Hall and Jordan Hall in Boston.

In recent seasons, Suren Bagrauni's debuts included a performance of Beethoven Triple Concerto in El Paso, a Brahms Double Concerto in Chile, a tour of Brazil, a recital debut in Washington DC, at the Phillps Collection, and recital debuts in Detroit on the Pro Musica concerts at the St Gallen Testival in Switzerland.

In recent seasons, he has given concerto performances of Haydn and Boccherini in a guest appearance with the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra in Germany. At Weill Recital Hall in New York, he performed a suite for cello and piano by Ned Rorem (with the composer as pianist). Last season he appeared in the same New York venue with pianist Sergei Babayan, who was recently seen in Durban in a Friends of Music recital. Their performance was later filmed at Steinway Hall in New York for NHK satellite television in Japan, and was aired on The Classical Hour series.

Suren Bagratuni won critical acclaim for his various CD releases featuring repertoire by Prokoviev, Shostakovich, Debussy, Rachmaninov, Stravinsky, Beethoven, Brahms and Tchaikovsky, among other works.

In addition to his solo activities, he is a member of the Nobilis Trio and Professor of Cello at Michigan State University in East Lansing.

The concert will take place at the Durban Jewish Club at 19h45 on May 7. A cash bar is available and there is ample safe parking.

Thanks to funding from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, the Prelude Performer for the evening will be young trumpet player Methenjwa Machi. Book at Computicket




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