Tsirani Tsar (Apricot Tree)
Chinar es (you are like a plane tree)
Krunk (the Crane)
V. Minuetto e Finale
Variations on a Paganini Theme
The Aznavoorian Duo
Cellist Ani Aznavoorian and pianist Marta Aznavoorian are Armenian-American siblings renowned for their passion, artistry, and energy. The Los Angeles Times describes Ani as a cellist “who shows great sensitivity and great virtuosity at all moments” while The Boston Globe praises Marta as a pianist of “exceptionally finished technique and purity of musical impulse.”
Cellist Ani Aznavoorian is in demand as a soloist and chamber musician with some of the country’s most recognized ensembles and has appeared with many of the world’s leading orchestras. This season marks her 15th year as Principal Cellist with Camerata Pacifica. She has also been a member of the International Sejong Soloists and Jupiter Chamber Players. Pianist Marta Aznavoorian has performed to critical acclaim throughout the world as an orchestral soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and educator, and has been nominated for multiple Grammy Awards. She is a founding member of the Lincoln Trio and has a vast discography.
This season, the Aznavoorian Duo embarks on a tour of California and the Seattle Chamber Music Society presents them in a winter residency. The duo has toured France, Armenia, and Finland, performed at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, and presented numerous programs in their hometown of Chicago, including a 1988 fundraiser for the Armenian Earthquake at the Armenian Benevolent Union. They have individually worked with leading contemporary composers including Lera Auerbach, Ezra Laderman, William Bolcom, Osvaldo Golijov, Shulamit Ran, Peter Boyer, Augusta Read Thomas, Stacy Garrop, Bright Sheng, Pierre Jalbert, Laura Schwendinger, Daron Hagen, Patrick Zimmerli, Vache Sharafyan, Debra Kaye, and Colin Matthews, among others. In April 2022, the Aznavoorians released Gems from Armenia, a celebration of the sounds of their ancestral homeland, on Cedille Records. The album features works by ancient and contemporary Armenian composers, as well as the world premiere recording of a new piece by Peter Boyer, and was praised by the Chicago Classical Review for its “superb playing… expressive, technically poised and well blended throughout.” Separately, they have recorded for the Warner Classics, Cedille, ARTEC, and Erato labels.
The sisters’ musical ambitions started at an early age when they together won first prize in the Illinois Bell Young Performers Competition, resulting in a live performance with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra televised on PBS. The Aznavoorian Duo went on to win the National Foundation for the Arts’ Recognition and Talent Level 1 Award, leading to their appointment as Presidential Scholars in the Arts and performances at The Kennedy Center and The White House. Ani went on to study with Aldo Parisot at The Juilliard School, where she won first prize in the concerto competition, becoming the youngest cellist ever to win. A student of renowned teacher Menahem Pressler, Marta received her bachelor’s degree and Artist Diploma at Indiana University and her master’s from the New England Conservatory.
Ani has been a member of the music faculty at the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana and, in the summers, has served on the faculty of the Great Mountains Music Festival in South Korea. Marta is an Artist-in-Residence and faculty member at the Music Institute of Chicago and is on the piano and chamber music faculty at the DePaul University School of Music. In addition to their busy performance and teaching schedules, The Aznavoorian Duo’s new foundation works to help create training pathways for students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds and provides funding to help them achieve their full musical potential.
Ani proudly performs on a cello made in Chicago by her father, Peter Aznavoorian. Marta is a Steinway Artist. Learn more at www.martaaznavoorian.com.