Biography

Born in 1985 in Novosibirsk to an Armenian father and a Russian mother, Mikhail Simonyan began learning the violin at the age of five and went on to win first prize at the All-Russia Competition in St. Petersburg and the Siberian Violin Competition, as well as the National Prize Prizvanie in Moscow.

1999

Moves to New York where he makes an acclaimed debut at Lincoln Center with the American Russian Young Artists Orchestra (ARYO). Makes his debut in St. Petersburg at the Mariinsky (Kirov) Theatre in the ARYO’s joint concert with the Mariinsky Youth Orchestra, performing Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto no.1

2000

Receives “Virtuoso of the Year” award in St. Petersburg

2001

Solo appearance in Washington, DC at the Kennedy Center’s 35th Anniversary Gala

2002

In Washington he makes his official debut with the National Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin and performs at the Horatio Alger Awards Dinner. Also plays at the Davos World Economic Summit

2003

The National Academy of Achievement in Washington selects him for an award in the Performing Arts

2004

Makes his debut with the Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre under Valery Gergiev during the orchestra’s US tour. Other highlights include his debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra performing the Tchaikovsky Concerto with Gergiev; his debuts with the Boston Pops and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; concerts with Kristjan Järvi and the Russian National Orchestra; and his debut at the Prague Spring Festival under Mikhail Pletnev. Having completed his studies at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia with Victor Danchenko, Mikhail Simonyan returns to Russia and is immediately invited by his home country’s leading orchestras. His debut with the Russian National Or­chestra prompts the Moscow Times to declare that “he seems destined to be ranked on the same superstar level as fellow Novosibirsk natives Maxim Vengerov and Vadim Repin”

2005

President Putin receives him at the Kremlin in acknowledgment of his status as one of Russia’s most promising young musicians

2008

Wins the “Young Artist Award” from the Classical Recording Foundation in New York

2009

Tours with the National Philharmonic of Russia led by Vladimir Spivakov performing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto and is invited by HRH Prince Charles to perform the Tchaikovsky Concerto at Windsor Castle. Makes his recital debuts in Paris (Musée du Louvre) and at New York’s Lincoln Center. Opens the concert season of the New World Symphony, performing the Glazunov Concerto under Michael Tilson Thomas. His first recording, performances of the Prokofiev Violin Sonatas, is released and acclaimed by The Strad for “tonal and intonational purity, coupled with a ravishing range of expressive colours”

2010

Makes his New York Philharmonic debut, performing the Tchaikovsky with Bramwell Tovey conducting. With Kristjan Järvi conducting, plays Szymanowski’s First Concerto with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra and Pärt’s Tabula rasa with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra. Recitals include the Ravinia and Verbier Festivals. In October, he filled in last minute for Midori to make his Baltimore Symphony debut. Launches a private initiative called “Beethoven Not Bullets” to assist the newly founded Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul. Mikhail Simonyan works to raise funds to sponsor students at the Institute, the war-torn country’s only music school

2011

Concerto appearances include the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (Shostakovich Concerto no. 1), Aarhus Symphony Orchestra (Barber), Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (Khachaturian) and a tour with the Baltic Youth Philharmonic (Nielsen), all under Kristjan Järvi; the Iceland Symphony Orchestra (Tchaikovsky) under Christian Lindberg; and the Aspen Festival (Bruch Concerto no. 1) under Nicholas McGegan. Recitals in Japan and the USA. Mikhail Simonyan signs an exclusive recording agreement with Deutsche Grammophon. His debut recording for the Yellow Label, coupling the violin concertos by Khachaturian and Barber, with Kristjan Järvi conducting the London Symphony Orchestra, will be released internationally in 2012

2012

Plans include concerts in Zagreb, Copenhagen, Leipzig and San Antonio as well as recitals in Washington and Germany

9/2011

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