Armenian State Symphony Orchestra
Acclaimed as a cultural leader in his native Armenia and increasingly in demand on the international stage, Sergey Smbatyan is founder, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra. In September 2019 he became Principal Conductor of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra following highly successful tours of Germany, Austria and the United States, including performances at the Berlin Philharmonie, Vienna’s Musikverein and Carnegie Hall.
Armed with the experience of building a symphony orchestra from scratch, Sergey Smbatyan has created four other orchestras in recent years. In 2015 he founded the 24/04 Orchestra to commemorate the centenary of the Armenian Genocide and the “Generation of Independence”.
All-Armenian Choir and Orchestra to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Armenia’s independence.
He also founded the UNICEF Children’s Chamber Orchestra, dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Pan-Armenian Symphony Orchestra, an initiative intended to unite Armenians around the world. The remit of his work as educator and innovator extends to "DasA", a high school project offering a close-up experience with classical music.
Sergey Smbatyan’s guest conducting career has flourished in recent seasons, leading to concerts with Sinfonia Varsovia, the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the Dresden Philharmonic, the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra and, among others, the Orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin. He returned to the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra during the 2021/2022 season for a European tour comprising concerts at the Berliner Philharmonie and the Vienna Musikverein and is set to direct the օrchestra’s first UK tour in the 2022/2023 season.
Lauded as one of today's probing musical voices, Nancy Zhou harbors a robust presence that seeks to invigorate appreciation for the art and science of the violin. Her thoughtful musicianship resonates with a global audience in such a way that brings her on stage with leading orchestras around the world. The violinist has collaborated with the Royal Stockholm, Hong Kong Philharmonics; Shanghai, and Kansas City Symphonies, among others. Alongside projects as a soloist, Nancy harbors interest in chamber music and music education. She has visited the Tanglewood, Verbier, Ravinia Festivals. The violinist devotes time to a private online studio as well, teaching students across the globe and presenting masterclasses on fundamental training and cultivating mindful awareness critical to performance.
This season, the violinist explores works outside the traditional oeuvre. Chinese composer Zhao Jiping’s first concerto will be performed with the New Jersey Symphony at the Lincoln Center. She will also appear with the Würzburg Philharmonic and return to Italy for recitals.
American-born, Nancy commenced violin studies with her father, later studying with Miriam Fried at the New England Conservatory while pursuing her interest in literature at Harvard University. She is an Associated Artist at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel as well as a former scholar of the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation.
Emerging from a group of devotees and enthusiasts of classical music, the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra was created by Sergey Smbatyan, the present Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the orchestra. From the very onset of its existence, the orchestra has been home to bright and energetic musicians, assembled around the shared vision of amplifying the cultural awareness in Armenia and elevating the spiritual excellence of human nature by the power of classical music. The orchestra performs over 50 concerts annually, with a rich and multifarious repertoire covering multiple music genres and performance formats.
It has been profiled a multitude of times with such world-class composers as Krzysztof Penderecki, Sir Karl Jenkins, Giya Kancheli and Tigran Mansuryan as well as a number of highly distinguished performing artists. The Armenian State Symphony Orchestra has a history of close relationships with world-scale artists such as Valery Gergiev, Vladimir Spivakov, Maxim Vengerov, Denis Matsuev, Vadim Repin, Vag Papian, Boris Berezovsky, Zakhar Bron and others.
The Armenian State Symphony Orchestra has been hosted by many reputable concert halls around the world, including Opera Garnier (Paris), Konzerthaus (Berlin), Dr. Anton Philipszaal (Hague), Tchaikovsky Concert Hall and the Great Hall of Conservatory (Moscow), Palais des Beaux-Arts (Brussels), Elbphilharmonie (Hamburg), Royal Theatre (Madrid), Dubai Opera House and others.
A remarkable chapter in the history of the orchestra was the 2020 European Tour with the renowned violin virtuoso and the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra’s Artist-in-Residence Maxim Vengerov, with brilliant performances hosted on famous stages around Europe - Berliner Philharmonie, Vienna's Musikverein, London's Barbican Center, Prague's Dvorak Hall, Salzburg's Grosses Festspielhaus and Moscow's Zaryadye Concert Hall.
Aside from the extensive concert activity in Armenia and overseas, the orchestra also enjoys recognition and is highly esteemed for its increasing role in educating young people in Armenia. Since 2018, in the framework of DasA educational-cultural project the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra and Sergey Smbatyan have been sparking interest and liking for classical music in high-school students across Armenia, with an attempt to galvanize a larger movement for cultivating noble insights and taste for classical music among the young generation.
A number of orchestra’s concerts have been broadcast by Medici.tv, EuroNews, and Classic.fm. In 2019, a documentary was released by Mezzo TV, featuring Sergey Smbatyan and the history of the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra.
1a M.Grigoryan str., suite 300-302,
Yerevan 0001, Armenia