Armen Babakhanian is an Armenian pianist, a prize-winner at several of the world's most prestigious international piano competitions including the Leeds, the Van Cliburn, the Guardian Dublin, the William Kappell, the Gina Bachauer, and the World Piano Competition. Armen Babakhanian has captured the imagination of the audiences and the critics alike through the intensity and honesty of his performances.
Babakhanian has given recitals in the USA, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Italy, France and Spain. Babakhanian has appeared as soloist with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Irish National Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra (USA), Dallas Symphony, Utah Symphony, with Saint Petersburg Philharmonic under Yuri Temirkanov, with Moscow Philharmonic under Valery Gergiev, Russian Philharmonic Orchestra under Yurovsky, Slovenian Philharmonic and Israel Philharmonic among others.
Festival appearances include the Aspen, Interlochen, Santander and Baalbec Music festivals. Babakhanian’s performance of the Shostakovich Piano Quintet with the Takács Quartet during Santander Festival in Spain was named the best chamber music performance of the festival.
Babakhanian has recorded for the ASV, Real Sound and Sigmund Classics labels. His performances have been broadcast on BBC, PBS (USA), ORF (Austria) and RAI (Italy) television networks. Babakhanian's recording of the Tchaikovsky piano sonatas has received rave reviews in the European press. Babakhanian’s recording of Complete Piano Works by Aram Khachaturian was awarded the “Best Classical Album of the Year” at the Armenian Music Awards 2007.
In addition to his performing career, Babakhanian has served as jury member for several international piano competitions, including the Gina Bachauer, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff and most recently Maria Callas International Piano competitions. In 1999, he founded and served as Artistic Director for the Armenian Legacy Pan Armenian Competition in Yerevan, Armenia. Babakhanian has taught numerous master-classes in Russia, United Kingdom, Spain, Japan, China, Iceland and the United States.
Babakhanian is an Artist-in-Residence at the Komitas State Conservatory in Yerevan, where he also received his musical education under Professor Anahit Bogdanyan. He also studied with Claude Frank and Vera Gornostaeva.
In 2004 Babakhanian became the Founder and Artistic Director of “Cadence” Ensemble. In April of 2004 Babakhanian gave first worldwide tour with “Cadence” which included performance in Buenos Aires at famous Teatro Colon.
In 2008 Armen Babakhanian was awarded Gold Medal by Ministry of Culture for great contribution in Spyurk-Armenia relations. In 2009 Babakhanian was awarded Artist Emeritus from the President of Republic of Armenia. In 2011 Armen Babakhanian became Dean of Piano Department at Yerevan State Conservatory. During 2011/2013 seasons, Babakhanian was scheduled to perform recitals and concerto appearances as well as give masterclasses in Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Switzerland, France, Greece, Cyprus, Lithuania, Iceland, Russia, U.S.A, Canada, China, Korea and Japan.
Mr. Lee Yin Hwa
A native of Malaysia, Lee Yin Hwa, obtained his Bachelors and Masters from Western Illinois University, and a one-year post-graduate study at Boston University under the Dean’s scholarship. Yin Hwa was the 3rd prize winner at the 1 st Brevard Music Festival piano competition in North Carolina, and concerto competition winner at Western Illinois University.
Among his principal teachers include Prof. Anthony Di Bonaventura, Prof. Dr Michael Campbell, James Magsig, Rickie Oui and Serena Chow. Yin Hwa has worked with international musicians such as Andre Watts, Aldo Mancinelli, Jerome Rose, Bruce Murray, Florence Kirsch and the Ying quartet. He has collaborated with the WIU concert choir, University Orchestra and WIU wind ensemble. He has also been invited to perform in the Asia Grand Piano Concert held in Seoul, Korea.
In Malaysia, Yin Hwa appeared regularly as a soloist on music festivals and concerts. He is also an avid chamber musician and has collaborated with MPO chamber groups. Together with two other distinguished local musicians Dr Joanne Yeoh and Dr Yew Yoong Chong they have founded the Mutiara Piano Trio. Besides, Yin Hwa collaborates regularly with his wife Hee Jung Choi as a piano duo in concerts. He is also a well sought after clinician and adjudicator. Most recently, he was invited to adjudicate regional and international competitions such as The Asia Music Competition (Taiwan) and HKYPAF; The Symphonia’s and Star Quarto’s Music competitions in Indonesia. Currently, Yin Hwa serves as a member of the piano faculty of UCSI.