Narek Hakhnazaryan was awarded the Gold Medal at the 2011 XIV International Tchaikovsky Competition, the most prestigious prize given to a cellist. Hailed a "seasoned phenom" by the Washington Post, and praised for his "intense focus and expressive artistry" by the New York Times, Hakhnazaryan has since established himself as one of the finest cellists of his generation. In 2014, he was invited to join the prestigious BBC New Generation Artists scheme.
Hakhnazaryan has played with some of the world’s finest orchestras including the Chicago Symphony, London Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony and Mariinsky orchestras, Filarmonica della Scala Milan and Orchestre National de Toulouse, and with conductors such as Gergiev, Valčuha, Koopman, van Zweden, Sokhiev, Neemi Järvi, Spivakov, Pletnev, Robertson, Bělohlávek. In chamber and duo recitals he has performed in halls such as Zankel Hall (Carnegie Hall), Salle Pleyel Paris, Wigmore Hall, Berlin Konzerthaus, Vienna Konzerthaus, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Oji Hall Tokyo, Jordan Hall (Boston) and at the Aspen, Ravinia, Tivoli, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, City of London and Verbier Festivals.
In the 2014/15 season Hakhnazaryan appears with the Detroit Symphony and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and makes his debut with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, and New Zealand Symphony orchestras, in recital at the Lucerne Festival and at the Dvořák Festival Prague with the Czech Philharmonic. Other highlights this season include returns to the Seoul Philharmonic, a tour of Japan for recitals and concerts with the Mariinsky Orchestra and Valery Gergiev, a piano trio tour with Sergey and Lusine Khachatryan across many of the major European concert halls including Vienna’s Konzerthaus and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, a recital with Igor Levit at the Philharmonie Essen, and his debut in London’s Royal Festival Hall, where he will play the Dvořák Concerto with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Recent appearances in North & South America include performances with the Dallas Symphony and the Kansas City Symphony and his New York concerto debut performing the Elgar Concerto in Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Last season, he returned to Carnegie's Zankel Hall; played Dvořák on a three -week US tour with the Estonian National Symphony; made his debut with the Toronto Symphony; and performed Lera Auerbach with the Sao Paulo Symphony.
Mentored by Mstislav Rostropovich, Narek was the only cellist invited to travel on behalf of Mstislav Rostropovich Foundation. As First Prize winner in the 2008 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Narek debuted in the Young Concert Artists Series in New York at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Narek was born in 1988 in Yerevan, Armenia, into a family of musicians: his father is a violinist and his mother is a pianist. His early studies were at the Sayat-Nova School of Music in Yerevan with Zareh Sarkisyan. At the age of 12, Narek began studies at the Moscow Conservatory with Alexey Seleznyov, and went on to work with Lawrence Lesser at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.