Tokyo String Quartet In Yerevan, Peter Oundjian
Posted 28 June 2005 - 10:45 AM
MAGIC SOUNDS OF STRING SECTION OF STRADIVARIUS IN YEREVAN
YEREVAN, JUNE 27. ARMINFO. Magic sounds of Stradivarius strings
can be enjoyed in Yerevan for the first time. The only concert
performed by Japanse quartet "Tokio" within the framework of the 6th
International Music Festival "Prospects of the 21st" will be held at
Aram Khachaturyan Concert Hall on July 1.
Director of Armenian Music and Information Center, Composer Stepan
Rostomyan said at a press conference today that the world acknowledged
quartet will play on the famous strings of Stradivarius: violins
of 1680 and 1927, alt of 1071, violoncello of 1736. After the great
Nicolo Paganini played on this strings in the 19th century, they have
been called "Quarter of Paganini."
It is a great honor for us to receive such talented musicians,
Rostomyan says. Meanwhile, he says, the quarter will receive a small
envelope of gratitude for it concert and not its usual honorarium.
The quartets of Johanes Brams and others will sound. The tickets will
cost 3-20,000 AMD. The quarter Tokio created on the initiative of
Japanese students in New York 35 years ago. It has held concerts at the
most respectable halls in the world. Festival "Prospects of the 21st"
is supported by the Armenian Foreign Ministry and Culture Ministry.
Posted 02 July 2005 - 09:51 AM
'WE KNOW LITTLE ABOUT ARMENIA BUT WOULD LIKE TO LEARN MORE'
Tokyo String Quartet in Armenia
Famous Tokyo String Quartet to perform in Yerevan on the sidelines
of the Prospects of the 21st Century music festival arrived in
Armenia yesterday. President of Musical Informational Center, Stepan
Rostomian, said that the single concert of this remarkable ensemble
of classical music on July 1 is part of cultural policy.
Kikuei Ikeda, second violin of the quartet, said that he was excited
to receive the invitation for the festival two years ago. "This
is a very interesting country, with rich culture that has great
contribution to the world culture in general. Though we know little
about Armenia, we would like to learn more", he said. Cellist of the
band, Clive Greensmith, presented the history of the quartet in brief,
"We all were from one music school in Tokyo and decide to unite in a
quartet in 1969". Sharing with their repertoire, the musicians said,
"Classical music, beginning from Debussy, was the brand of the quartet
but now we play modern music as well".
The renowned quartet is recording today Beethoven, Mozart and is
preparing to record the works of the second beloved composer of the
band -- Franz Schubert.
Members of Tokyo Quartet said that they new "a few good Armenian
musicians" and are well acquainted with Khachatrian and Komitas
During its short stay in Armenian capital, Tokyo String Quartet will
meet Yerevan mayor and minister of culture. No meeting with composers
and musicians is scheduled.
By Gohar Gevorgian
Posted 02 October 2014 - 09:46 AM
PETER OUNDJIAN: FROM INJURY TO TRIUMPH
The Royal Scottish National Orchestra chief tells John Allison how,
out of his failing skills as a violinist, he became one of the world's
Handy: Peter Oundjian, music director of the Royal Scottish National
By John Allison
3:00PM BST 01 Oct 2014
In Toronto, when musicians talk about "the resurrection", they're
likely to mean the near-death experience of the Toronto Symphony
Orchestra and its comeback from crippling debts and empty houses in
the first years of this millennium. Though the business of running a
successful orchestra is so complex that no one person deserves all the
credit, a key figure in that turnaround has been the music director,
Peter Oundjian. He took up the challenge in 2003 and is due (several
contract extensions later) to stay there until at least 2017.
Oundjian is now also midway through his first contract as music
director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, which opens its
season this week with concerts in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow. At
the RSNO he inherited a much better run organisation, but has also
made his mark as an orchestral builder.
To understand an orchestra from the inside out, it does no harm
to have been a violinist - in Oundjian's case, no ordinary fiddle
player but leader of the Tokyo String Quartet for a decade and a
half. When repetitive strain injuries forced him to step down, in
his late thirties, from the quartet in 1995, he took comfort from a
comment Herbert von Karajan had made to him during his student days
at the Juilliard School: "Never forget that you have the hands for
As Oundjian recalls, he had been leading the Juilliard Orchestra when
the legendary German maestro made a rare appearance in New York to
give master-classes. "When Karajan stopped a session 20 minutes early,
everybody thought he was going to get up and demonstrate what he'd
been trying to teach.
"Instead, he made me conduct the slow movement of Brahms's First
Symphony, standing two feet away and covering up the music. It was
an incredible experience, and years later when I realised that my
hand wasn't going to let me work as a violinist for much longer,
that memory meant and awful lot. You don't become a conductor lightly."
The son of an Armenian father and English mother, Oundjian was born
in Toronto but educated at Charterhouse and the Royal College of Music.
He is proud that one of his citizenships is Canadian - "Not many
conductors can say, this is the city in which I was born and they've
asked me to be their music director" - but is truly cosmopolitan,
at home anywhere where he is working.
His actual home base has long been near New York, yet being in
Britain (where his cousins include Eric Idle) allows him to connect
with other roots. "When I conduct Vaughan Williams, I think, 'Oh,
we were at the same school!'. It's like singing my own tunes."
Little wonder, then, that Oundjian's programming strands at the RSNO
feature so much British and American music. But perhaps nothing at
the moment excites him quite so much as their imminent Bruckner Seven.
"The orchestra hasn't done a lot of Bruckner, and people think of
it as box-office death. But that's only because so often it hasn't
been properly interpreted. His music has unbelievable inner tension,
yet the sound should be fabulously clear in its textures. After all,
it comes straight out of Schubert.
"As a string quartet player, I did all the late Schubert. Playing
those masterpieces is very close to conducting a Bruckner symphony.
Everyone must conduct from experience, and for me the chamber music
informs what I expect from an orchestra. It's about listening to
The RSNO's season opens on Oct 2 in Aberdeen, with concerts
in Edinburgh (Oct 3, 10), Glasgow (Oct 4, 11) and Perth (Oct
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