“Zeal…fresh perspective.” - KC Metropolis
“Graceful and energetic direction…outstanding.” – Sarasota Herald Tribune
Versatile conductor Aram Demirjian is widely acclaimed for his transformative work as the music director of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and frequent appearances with The Philadelphia Orchestra. He is sought after for his dynamic presence, thoughtful interpretations and distinctive abilities as a communicator.
Highlights of Aram’s 2019-20 season include subscription debuts with the Tucson and Portland symphonies and the Orlando Philharmonic, three return engagements for special projects with The Philadelphia Orchestra and an appearance at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts with the Knoxville Symphony, soprano Julia Bullock performing Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, and Knoxville poets R.B. Morris and RheaSunshine as part of SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestra, in a program called “Knoxville: Artists at Home.”
As the 8th Music Director of the KSO, Aram is rejuvenating the classical music scene in Knoxville with bold programming that champions the music of American composers and visionary collaborations with local and national artistic partners. His recent program featuring Jessie Montgomery’s Banner and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, with students from Tennessee School of the Deaf performing the Ode to Joy in American Sign Language, was lauded as “wildly successful…inarguably relevant to the contemporary world” (Arts Knoxville). The KSO’s 2018 co-production of Bernstein’s Candide with Clarence Brown Theater was praised nationally as “superbly conducted” (Chicago Tonight). In his second season as music director, Aram founded KSO: UnStaged, a series of experiential, multi-sensory events in non-traditional settings, co-curated by community partners including craft breweries, yoga studios and museums. Other recent and upcoming special projects include a new choreography of Manuel da Falla’s El Amor Brujo with Appalachian Ballet Company, Avner Dorman’s Spices, Perfumes, Toxins! with contemporary ensemble Nief-Norf and multiple appearances on the Big Ears Festival. In 2020, Demirjian and the KSO will present the world premiere of Cycle of Life, a violin concerto by Michael Schachter inspired by Richard Jolley’s landmark glass art installation by the same name, performed by Grammy©-nominated violinist Philipp Quint and co-commissioned by Knoxville Museum of Art.
Aram’s recent guest conducting highlights include American engagements with the Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, New England Conservatory, Omaha, San Antonio and St. Louis symphonies, the Minnesota, Sarasota and Breckenridge Music Festival orchestras, and the Louisiana Philharmonic. Internationally, Demirjian has conducted the Orquesta Sinfónico de Minería, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne and Orchéstre Métropolitain de Montréal. As a regular cover conductor with The Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic, he has assisted internationally renowned conductors including Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Stéphane Denève, Alan Gilbert, Manfred Honeck, Louis Langrée, Fabio Luisi and Antonio Pappano, and in 2018, he was a Solti Fellow with the Lyric Opera of Chicago. From 2012-16, Aram served as Associate Conductor of the Kansas City Symphony.
Aram is a devoted educator who has conceived and conducted education and family concerts for orchestras across the country that touch the lives of over 50,000 young people annually. He was formerly on the faculty of New England Conservatory Preparatory School, and he has conducted workshops and masterclasses with youth orchestras across the country, including the Massachusetts All State Orchestra at Symphony Hall Boston. In April 2016, he partnered with the Kansas-based non-profit Arts in Prison to curate a Beethoven-themed performance, featuring musicians from the Kansas City Symphony, for inmates at the Lansing Correctional Facility. A gifted public speaker, Demirjian is a passionate and vocal advocate for the arts, and he regularly gives talks to community and business organizations advocating for arts non-profits and arts education in our society.
Aram is the winner of the 2019 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award and the 2011 Robert J. Harth Conducting Prize from the Aspen Music Festival, where he was a three-time Conducting Fellow in the Aspen Conducting Academy. He has appeared in masterclasses with renowned conductors including Bernard Haitink at the Lucerne Easter Festival and Kurt Masur at Manhattan School of Music. Aram holds a joint Bachelor of Arts in Music and Government from Harvard University and a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from New England Conservatory.
UPDATED JUNE 2019. PLEASE DISCARD OLDER VERSIONS.