Canadian pianist and composer Serouj Kradjian has established himself as a versatile artist whose readiness to break boundaries and explore different and merge different musical styles has made him an exciting voice on the international music scene. The New York Times has described Grammy- nominated and two-time Juno-award-winning Kradjian’s playing as a “persuasive balance between elegance and spirit,” while the Frankfurter Allgemeine noted that he has “a fiery temperament and elegant sound” with “technique to burn.”
Mr. Kradjian has appeared with the Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Madrid and Göttingen Symphonies, the Russian National Orchestra, the Armenian Philharmonic and the Thailand Philharmonic under the baton of such eminent conductors as Bramwell Tovey, Stéphane Denève, Peter Oundjian, Anne Manson, Gudni Emilsson and Raffi Armenian.
Solo, chamber music recitals and premieres of his compositions have taken Mr. Kradjian from all major Canadian cities, via the U.S – New York (Carnegie Hall), Boston (Jordan Hall), San Francisco, Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles – to European concert halls in London (Wigmore Hall), Paris (Salle Cortot), Munich, Salzburg, Trondheim, Lausanne, Geneva, Madrid, Barcelona and Bilbao, to the Far East in China and Japan and to Latin America (Mexico & Brazil). He is regularly invited to the Luminato, Orford, Montreal Chamber Music, Ottawa Chamber Music, Bergen, Savannah, Rockport, Colmar and Cortona music festivals.
As a collaborative artist, Kradjian has appeared in concert with violinists Ara Malikian, Cho-Liang Lin, Lara St. John, Jonathan Crow, Chee-Yun, violist Kim Kashkashian, soprano Dawn Upshaw, baritone Russell Braun, tenor Michael Shade, guitarist Grisha Goryachev, percussionist Jamey Haddad and the New Orford, Pacifica, Cecilia and Arthur LeBlanc String Quartets.
Serouj is the co-artistic director and pianist of Canada’s acclaimed Juno winning Amici Chamber Ensemble, responsible for innovative programming, promotion, and performance of over fifty concerts, including an annual educational outreach program with the students of Claude Watson School for the Performing Arts at Earl Haig Secondary School in Toronto, Canada.
Serouj Kradjian’s discography includes over 15 recordings, including the complete Transcendental Etudes and Piano Concerti by Franz Liszt, and Robert Schumann’s three sonatas for violin and piano (with Ara Malikian). He has recorded songs by Pauline Viardot- Garcia, which brought him international accolades and a 2006 Juno award for Classical Album of the Year. With the Amici Chamber Ensemble, he has recorded Inspired by Canada – Mon Pays, Armenian Chamber Music and Levant, which won the Juno for Best Classical Recording in 2013.
His concerts have been broadcast by the CBC, Radio de la Suisse Romande, Radio and TV España, the BBC, the Süddeutsche Rundfunk and NHK Japan.
His explorations of tango and flamenco music have led to the critically acclaimed recording project “Tango Notturno” and the North American concert tour of “Reimagining Flamenco” with acclaimed flamenco guitarist Grisha Goryachev. His latest touring project is “Convivencia” a unique program for voice and chamber music, celebrating religious and ethnic diversity and harmony. Hell’s Fury, a theatre piece based on the “Hollywood Songbook” by German composer Hanns Eisler, a collaboration between Kradjian and baritone Russell Braun will have its US premiere at Stanford University in December 2019.
Fluent in six languages (English, French, Spanish, German, Armenian & Arabic), he has taught diverse musical subjects, including piano performance, chamber music, arrangement, composition, world music interpretation, at prestigious music schools such as the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media (Germany), Centro Superior Escuela Creativa and Katarina Gurska School of Music & Foundation (both in Madrid, Spain).
He is also active as a chamber music and vocal music / diction coach at Vancouver International Song Academy and Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music, where he also programs and conducts concerts of the Academy Chamber Orchestra, formed by the exceptionally gifted string players of the Glenn Gould Professional School and Taylor Academy, also serving as member of the Jury at their annual Chamber Music Competition.
Over 100 works commissioned, composed or arranged by Serouj Kradjian have been performed by the Toronto, Vancouver & Madrid Symphonies, the Fresno and the Armenian Philharmonic, the Elmer Iseler Singers, Amadeus & Elektra Women’s Choir, the CBC, the Toronto International Film Festival. His 2008 orchestral arrangements of folk songs by Gomidas, Armenia’s national composer, featured in the Nonesuch release Gomidas Songs earned him a Grammy award nomination. Trobairitz Ysabella, a song cycle for soprano and orchestra, inspired by medieval women troubadours, was a commission by the CBC and premiered by the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra in 2011 and included in the Juno-nominated recording “Troubadour and the Nightingale” also featuring his orchestrations of songs by Maurice Ravel and Sayat Nova. His “Cantata for Living Martyrs”, dedicated to the centenary of the Armenian Genocide, was premiered by the Fresno Philharmonic and Chorus. “Mother of Light”, a new album of medieval sacred music entirely arranged by Kradjian was nominated for a 2018 Juno for Best Classical Recording.
Serouj Kradjian graduated from University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music, with a Bachelor in Piano Performance, studying with Marietta Orlov, and finished his post- graduate studies at the Hanover University of Music, Drama & Media in Germany, with Diplom Konzertsolist (MMus.) degree studying with acclaimed Norwegian pianist Einar Steen-Nøkleberg. A member of SOCAN as ASCAP, he has awarded multiple grants from the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council for his artistic activities.