Cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan & Pianist Noreen Cassidy-Polera to Play Zankel Hall, 11/7
On Thursday, November 7, at 8:00 p.m. in Zankel Hall, critically acclaimed 25-year-old cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan performs in recital with pianist Noreen Cassidy-Polera. Mr. Hakhnazaryan, who won the XIV International Tchaikovsky Competition in 2011, and Ms. Cassidy-Polera perform Ligeti's technically demanding Cello Sonata, as well as Humoresque, Op. 5, composed by the cellist's late mentor Mstislav Rostropovich, and Mikhail Bronner's 1995 work The Jew: Life and Death, which reflects upon the tragedy of Jewish history. Also on the program are such traditional works as Rachmaninoff's Cello Sonata in G Minor, Op. 19, and Schumann's Adagio and Allegro, Op. 70.
Opened in September 2003, Zankel Hall-Carnegie Hall's modern, underground performance space-celebrates its tenth anniversary this season with concerts that reflect the wide variety of music for which the venue has become known, including appearances by up-and-coming and established artists in the classical, jazz, world music, and pop genres.
Narek Hakhnazaryan is emerging as one of the most significant young cellists on the world stage. Born in 1988 in Yerevan, Armenia, into a family of musicians, Mr. Hakhnazaryan was mentored by the late Mstislav Rostropovich, and was the only cellist invited to travel on behalf of the Mstislav Rostropovich Foundation. As First Prize winner in the 2008 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Mr. Hakhnazaryan debuted in the Young Concert Artists Series in New York at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall and at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. He has since performed as soloist with Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke's, Rotterdam Philharmonic, London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, NDR Symphony Orchestra Hamburg, Orchestra FilarMonica Della Scala, Orchestre symphonique de Québec, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, and Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, among others. He has also performed with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra under Jaap van Zweden and Kansas City Symphony under Michael Stern. In chamber and duo recitals, Mr. Hakhnazaryan has performed throughout the US, as well as in Paris's Salle Pleyel, at the Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival Warsaw, and the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival in Los Angeles. He has also appeared at the Verbier, Grafenegg, Tivoli, and City of London Festivals. In recital last season, he performed at Konzerthaus Berlin, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, as well as on the Shriver Hall Concert Series in Baltimore and the Vancouver Recital Series.
Mr. Hakhnazaryan's early studies took place at the Sayat-Nova School of Music in Yerevan with Zareh Sarkisyan, and at the age of 12, he began studies at the Moscow Conservatory with Alexey Seleznyov. Working with Lawrence Lesser, he received an Artist Diploma from the New England Conservatory of Music in 2011. Mr. Hakhnazaryan plays a 1698 David Tecchler cello, on loan from Valentine Saarmaa, granddaughter of the renowned luthier Jacques Francais.
The pianist Noreen Cassidy-Polera ranks among the most highly-regarded and diverse chamber artists performing today. Recent performances include those at Alice Tully Hall, Zankel Hall, Weill Recital Hall, 92nd Street Y, Jordan Hall, Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum, Kennedy Center, Salle Cortot, and appearances at the Caramoor, Bard, Grand Teton, and Cape Cod Chamber Music festivals, as well as engagements at the chamber music societies of Philadelphia and La Jolla. She has recorded for the Sony, EMI, Audiophon, and Centaur Records labels.
Ms. Cassidy-Polera has collaborated with leading soloists, including David Shifrin, Matt Haimovitz, Carter Brey, Antonio Menesis, Aurora-Natalie Ginastera, Yo-Yo Ma, and Leonard Rose. Winner of the Accompanying Prize at the Eighth International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, she regularly collaborates with laureates of the Queen Elisabeth, Tchaikovsky, and Naumburg international competitions. Ms. Cassidy-Polera's mastery and affection for the complete standard cello-piano repertory is well known, as is her attention and dedication to the works of living composers. In recent seasons, she performed Elliott Carter's venerable Sonata for Cello and Piano on tour in Paris, New York, and Philadelphia, along with new works by Lowell Liebermann, Benjamin C.S. Boyle, and Kenji Bunch to critical acclaim. Her recording Sound Vessels with cellist Scott Kluksdahl features the recording premiere of Richard Wernick's Duo, and works of Robert Helps, Augusta Read Thomas, and Elliott Carter.