ANI AZNAVOORIAN, CELLO
Recently hailed by the Los Angeles Times as a “cellist who shows great sensitivity and great virtuosity at all moments,” Ani Aznavoorian is in demand as a soloist and chamber musician with some of the world’s most recognized ensembles. She has appeared with many of the world’s leading orchestras including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops, the Tokyo Philharmonic, the Helsinki Philharmonic, the Finnish Radio Symphony, the International Sejong Soloists, the Indianapolis Philharmonic, the San Jose Symphony, the Juilliard Orchestra, Concertante di Chicago, and the Edmonton Symphony. Ms. Aznavoorian has also appeared as recitalist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Italy, France, Finland, Yugoslavia, Japan, Korea, Australia, Taiwan, and Canada.
This season marks Ani’s fourth year as principal cellist of Camerata Pacifica. In addition, she has been a member of the distinguished music faculty at the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana. In the summers she is on the faculty of the Great Mountains Music Festival and School in South Korea.
In 2000, Ani received the prestigious Bunkamura Orchard Hall Award for her outstanding cello playing and artistry. Her other awards include first prizes in the Illinois Young Performers Competition (televised live on PBS with the Chicago Symphony), the Union League Civic and Arts Foundation Music Scholarship Competition, the Chicago Cello Society National Competition, the Julius Stulberg Competition, and the American String Teachers Association Competition. She was a top prizewinner in the 1996 International Paulo Competition, held in Helsinki, Finland. As a recipient of the 1995 Level I award in the National Foundation for the Arts Recognition and Talent Search, Ms. Aznavoorian became a Presidential Scholar in the Arts and performed as soloist at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. where she met former U.S. President, Bill Clinton.
As a first-year student at The Juilliard School, Ms. Aznavoorian won first prize in the institution’s concerto competition—the youngest cellist in the history of the school’s cello competitions to do so. As a result, she performed with the Juilliard Orchestra in a concert with conductor Gerard Schwarz at Avery Fisher Hall. With only 12 hours notice, Ani stepped in to replace Natalie Gutman in three performances of the Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 1 with the San Jose Symphony - concerts that were hailed by the San Jose Press. Other notable appearances include concerts at Weill Hall and Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Ravinia’s Bennett Hall, Hawrelak Park, Aspen’s Harris Hall, the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series, WFMT Live from Studio 1, and the Music in the Loft Concert Series. Ani received both her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard School where she studied with Aldo Parisot.
Ani enjoys performing new music and has made the world premiers of two important pieces in the cello repertoire: Ezra Laderman’s Concerto no. 2 with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic under the baton of Lawrence Leighton Smith; and Lera Auerbach’s “24 Preludes for Cello and Piano” on stage at the Hamburg Staatsoper with the Hamburg State Ballet—choreographed by John Neumeier. Other notable engagements include an acting role in Japan’s popular NTV mini-series “Harmonia” where she portrayed the life of a fictional young cellist. She also appeared in a live televised performance of the Vivaldi Double Cello Concerto on “Paula Zahn Now” with Paula Zahn as the second cellist. She is an avid chamber musician and has performed in chamber ensembles with Gil Shaham, Cho-Liang Lin, Sarah Chang, Eugenia Zukerman, Edgar Meyer, Ruth Laredo, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, the Pacifica Quartet, and the Shanghai Quartet. She is a member of the renowned string ensemble the International Sejong Soloists, and is also a founding member of the Corinthian Trio with pianist Adam Neiman and violinist Stefan Milenkovich. Ani also performs frequently on the Jupiter Chamber Music series in New York. She proudly performs on a cello made by her father Peter Aznavoorian in Chicago.