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#1 Yervant1


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Posted 30 October 2015 - 09:51 AM


Exchange Morning Post, Canada
Oct 29 2015

Waterloo - Celebrated conductor Raffi Armenian will be leading
Laurier's annual winter opera production staged by students in the
Faculty of Music. Armenian, one of Canada's top conductors, who
also has close ties to Kitchener-Waterloo, will be leading a student
performance of LeoÅ¡ JanáÄ~Mek's The Cunning Little Vixen in late
February. Prior to conducting the show, he will fulfill a six-week
residency at Laurier, rehearsing with the students on a regular basis.

Serving as conductor and artistic director of the Kitchener-Waterloo
Symphony (KWS) from 1971-93, Armenian is widely credited with
establishing the KWS as a leading orchestra in Canada. Under his
guidance, the company grew from a small group of amateur musicians
to a professional symphony that attracts talent nationally and
internationally. To honour Armenian's many contributions to the KWS
and music in Waterloo Region, the main theatre at Kitchener's Centre
in the Square - the central performance venue of the KWS and a facility
Armenian played a key role in creating - is named in his honour.

"Raffi Armenian is a legendary figure in Waterloo Region, but his
reputation is truly global. It is an honour for us to bring Maestro
Armenian back to our community," said Glen Carruthers, dean of music at
Laurier. "I am especially pleased, of course, that we can provide this
once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our students. Maestro Armenian's
residency lasts a full six weeks while he prepares what promises
to be an outstanding event celebrating the Faculty of Music's 40th
anniversary. I expect our opera production, which is always very
popular, will be standing room only for all three performances!"

Born in Cairo, Egypt in 1942, Armenian studied piano at the Vienna
Academy of Music before putting his musical pursuits on hold to study
engineering at the University of London from 1962-65. He returned
to Vienna in 1965, completing his studies in 1969, and then moved
to Canada to take up an assistant conductor post with the Atlantic
Symphony Orchestra in Halifax. Following his 22-year stint leading
the KWS, Armenian was appointed director of orchestral studies at
the University of Toronto in 1999, later holding the same position
at Montreal's Conservatoire de Musique.

Armenian still maintains his connection to the KWS, holding the
position of music director laureate. In 1991 he became a member of
the Order of Canada and received an honorary doctorate from Laurier.

Laurier Music's performance of The Cunning Little Vixen will run Feb.

26-28, 2016. For more information, visit wlu.ca/music.


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