Alexander Tschaikovsky | Contemporary Classics Composers' Festival

Contemporary Classics Composers' Festival

Armenia · 2019

Ministry of education, science, culture and sport of the RA






Alexander Tschaikovsky

Armenian State Symphony Orchestra

Sergey Smbatyan,

Yuri Bashmet, Viola

Alexander Tchaikovsky, Piano

Daria Tschaikowskaja, Piano


Sergey Smbatyan

Extending far beyond his native Armenia, Sergey Smbatyan’s renown and prolific musical career feed on his inexorable vision to make the world a better place through music, culture and spiritual enrichment of people. Sergey Smbatyan’s robust endeavors have earned an array of achievements for the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra, of which he is the Founder, Artistic Director, and Principal Conductor.

Born to a family of musicians, Sergey’s journey in the world of classical music started with violin studies first with his grandmother Tatiana Hayrapetyan, followed by the classes with violinists Bagrat Vardanyan, Zakhar Bron and Yuri Davtyan. A graduate of Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory and Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Smbatyan also graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in London in 2012. He also holds a Ph.D. in Fine Arts from the Institute of Arts, a division of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences. 

The conservatory undergraduate Sergey Smbatyan lay the foundation of the future Armenian State Symphony Orchestra in 2005, assembling like-minded young fellows into a youth orchestra that would champion classical music in Armenia and promote Armenian musical heritage worldwide. The future achievements awaiting the orchestra along its journey proved the visceral faith of its founder to be an infallible foresight. Throughout the 2020 concert tour with the renowned violin virtuoso and the orchestra’s artist-in-residence Maxim Vengerov brilliant performances were hosted on reputable stages around Europe - Berliner Philharmonie, Vienna's Musikverein, London's Barbican Center,  Prague's Dvorak Hall, Salzburg's Grosses Festspielhaus, Moscow's Zaryadye Concert Hall and elsewhere.

Sergey Smbatyan also holds a rich record of conducting experience with foreign orchestras, including, among many others, the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra.

Among Sergey Smbatyan’s most cherished and sustainable legacies of are his self-founded 4 music festivals (Armenian Composing Art Festival, Khachaturian International Festival, “Armenia” International Music Festival and “Contemporary Classics” Composers’ Festival), as well as the introduction of “Conducting” category in the annual Khachaturian International Competition,  which is a member of the prestigious World Federation of International Musical Competitions (WFIMC). Other valuable enterprises include 5 exclusive orchestras formed in the framework of significant events, 7 special musical projects and concert series and 7 educational projects, the most massive and impactful of the letter being “DasA” (literally- “ClassA), launched in 2018. Targeting high school students in Armenia, this project’s mission focuses on the popularization of classical music and positive transformation in the young generation’s attitude towards classical music.

By virtue of his relentless and creative outlooks, Smbatyan always pursues new dimensions for innovative artistry and embarks on novel initiatives in the Armenian cultural context.

In 2015, Sergey Smbatyan received the title of Chevalier of the “Order of Arts and Letters”, awarded by the Minister of Culture and Communication of France. In 2017, the honorary title of “Worker in Arts of Armenia” was conferred on him for the great merit in rearing of creative generation.

 “The conductor led the orchestra with an uncommon attention to detail, skillfully guiding the musicians through the whole performance. His hands were clear and precise; this was a performance of great dignity and nobility.
A highly successful and passionate performance!”.

Hessisch Niedersächsische Allgemeine

Yuri Bashmet


There are certain musicians who God and Fate have destined to follow an artistic path by way of which they become figures in the art of music who open new horizons for future generations. Yuri Bashmet is undoubtedly such a musician, having established the viola as a leading instrument on the contemporary concert stage.

Yury Bashmet is one of the few contemporary musicians whose authority is universally respected. 

In 1992, Bashmet founded the Moscow Soloists chamber ensemble, made up of highly talented young graduates and graduate students of the Moscow Conservatory. In 2008, Moscow Soloists, together with Bashmet, won a Grammy Award and became the first Russian chamber ensemble ever to receive that coveted prize in its entire 50-year history. 

Film and television companies several countries, including England, France and Russia, have documented Bashmet’s artistry. The Maestro  himself has created and serves as host of the television program “Station of Dreams.”

Yuri Bashmet was born in 1953 in Rostov-on-Don. In 1971, he graduated from the Lvov Special Musical Middle School and entered the Moscow Conservatory, where his teachers were Professors Vadim Borisovsky 

and Fyodor Druzhinin. While still a student, he received awards at international competitions in Budapest, in 1975 (2nd prize), and Munich, in1976 (1st prize). His phenomenal gifts as a musician were widely noted at the time. “In terms of interpretive perfection and brilliance of tone, he can only be compared to David Oistrakh,” wrote a German newspaper. 

He has appeared as a soloist with the leading orchestras of the world, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Berlin Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Vienna Philharmonic and Orchestre National de France.

Contemporary composers – among them, Alfred Schnittke, Sofia Gubaydulina, Edison Denisov, Mikhail Tariverdiyev, John Tavener, Ghia Kancheli and Alexander Tchaikovsky – have specially composed for him or dedicated to him more than 50 works. 

Yuri Bashmet took up conducting in 1982 and, in doing so, brought added luster to his reputation as a bold and fearless contemporary musician.

Since 2002, Bashmet has served as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of New Russia State Chamber Orchestra. Subscription concerts in the major concert halls of Moscow have revealed the scale Bashmet’s musicianship. Masterpieces of Russian music, works by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Rimsky-Korsakov, Prokofiev and Shostakovich; European classics, the music of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert; and contemporary works by such composers as Schnittke, Gubaydulina and Kancheli – in all of these, the polished interpretations of the Maestro have served reveal the secrets of their musical language.

Yuri Bashmet and Sviatoslav Richter enjoyed a long-standing artistic friendship and performed together in many concerts in Russia and abroad. Richter served for 16 years as Artistic Director of the worldrenowned “December Nights” festival in Moscow. Following Richter’s death, that position was inherited by Bashmet.

He has also founded an international charitable fund which has created  the Dmitry Shostakovich Prize, awarded annually for achievements in the world of art. Its recipients have been Gidon Kremer, Thomas Quasthoff, Viktor Tretyakov, Valery Gergiev, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Olga Borodina, Irina Antonova, Hataliya Gutman, Yevgeny Kissin, Maxim Vengerov, Alexei Ratmansky, Yefim Bonfman, Denis Matsuyev, Tan Dun.

Bashmet is the founder and chairman of the world’s first and only viola competition, which takes place in Moscow.

Bashmet has participated in many important charitable events: at Carnegie Hall in New York, together with Elton John and Stevie Wonder; in London, in memory of Princess Diana; and in concerts dedicated to

raising funds to assist those who suffered from natural disasters in Armenia and Japan and in aid of handicapped children. 

It is difficult to overestimate Bashmet’s contribution to world peace. As a citizen of the world and a brilliant musician, his name belongs among those of the leading figures of the 20th and 21st centuries.

China News

“Yuri Bashmet, as an outstanding violist and one of the world’s great

musicians, has revived interest in the viola.”


Daria Tschaikowskaja


1998 she became a student of Professor Wladimir Krajnew at the Conservatory of Hannover. 

In 1999 Daria enrolled in the Conservatory of Cologne, as a student of Professor Arbo Valdma. 2003 she was awarded 2nd prize in the Int. Piano Competition of Gorizia, Italy. 

In 1996 Daria won the 1st prize at the Int. Steinway Competition in Hamburg.

In 1993 Daria made her debut concert with orchestra and enrolled in the Conservatory of Lubeck, Germany as a young student. In the same year she won the German Youth Musicians Competition, repeating the success in 1996 and 1999 in both junior and senior categories.

Throughout her career Daria has performed around Europe, Asia and Scandinavia at festivals such as Sakharov-Festival-Nijni Novgorod in Russia, Schleswig-Holstein-Festival in Germany, Cinema-Russe-Festival de Cannes in France, Kissinger Klavierolympiade, Kissinger Sommer, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Internationale Musikfesttage Koblenz in Germany, Music Festival of Pitea in Sweden, Grieg Festival Troldhaugen in Norway and others and the honour to perform on famous concert stages as the Glasunow Hall in St.Petersburg, the Rachmaninow Hall and the Chamber Music Hall in Moscow, Konzerthaus Berlin, Laeizhalle Hamburg, Tonhalle Duesseldorf and the Philharmonies of Moscow and Cologne as soloist with orchestras (Kazan Philharmonic, Russian Philharmonic, German Youth Orchestra, Obninsk Philharmonic,Tver Philharmonic, Jarosslavl Philharmonic and other orchestras)and giving solo recitals. 

She has attended masterclasses with world-renowned musicians such as Dmitri Bashkirov, Vitaly Margulis, Lev Naumov, Igor Blagodatov and Claude Frank. 

Daria Tschaikowskaja was born in Moscow. Coming from a musical family, she started playing piano at the age of six and enrolled in the Gnessin-Music-College for gifted children the following year. 

Daria graduated with a diploma from the Accademia Pianistica Imola, Italy (class of Prof. Boris Petrushansky) and also graduated with a diploma from the Conservatory of Cologne (class of Prof. Arbo Valdma) In 2005 she won 1st prize in the Int. Vincenzo Bellini Piano Competition of Caltanissetta, Italy and was to be heard as a soloist accompanying the Young Philharmony of Cologne on a Germany-wide tour. After that, she performed with many world-class orchestras and conductors, among them Moscow State Philarmonic Orchestra, New Russian Orchestra, under Juri Bashmet and Maris Janssons.

Daria has completed her master’s degree at the Conservatory of Cologne, class of Prof. Pavel Gililov.


Alexander Tchaikovsky


Composer, pianist People’s Artist of Russia (2005)

Alexander Tchaikovsky was born in Moscow in 1946. In 1972 he graduated from the Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory (composition class of Tikhon Khrennikov and piano classes of Heinrich Neuhaus and Lev Naumov), in 1975 completing an assistant traineeship at the conservatory (under Tikhon Khrennikov).

Prize-winner at the International Composition Competition at the Hollybush Festival in New Jersey (1985; 1st prize).

Actively involved in teaching and public music events, conducts masterclasses in the USA, Canada, Germany and other countries and is a jury member at several competitions. Has written critical articles for various music journals. He was composer-in-residence at the Kissinger Sommer festival (Germany) in 1988 and at the Nova Scotia festival (Canada) in 1995.

Since 1977 he has taught at the Composition Division at the Moscow Conservatory (Professor from 1993 and Head of Department from 1997). Member of the Union of Composers of the USSR (subsequently of Russia) since 1973, of which he was Secretary for Work with Artistic Youth in 1985–1990 and of the Council of which he has been Honorary Chair since 2017. From 1993 to 2002 he was a repertoire advisor for the Mariinsky Theatre. In 2002 he established the music festival Youth Academies of Russia. Has been a professor of the Department of Special Composition and Improvisation at the Rimsky-Korsakov St Petersburg State Conservatory, in 2004 he was pro-rector for international relations of the conservatory and from 2005 to 2008 he was rector. Since 2003 he has been Artistic Director of the Moscow State Philharmonic Society. Vice-President of the Authors’ Council of the Russian Authors’ Society (since 2017). Has been a member of the Council of Directors of Channel One Russia.

Composer of the operas Granddad Laughs (1972, based on works by Ivan Krylov), Three Prozorov Sisters (1995), Tsar Nikita and His Forty Daughters (1997), Motya and Savely – Mozart and Salieri (1999), The Three Musketeers (2007), One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (2009), The Legend of the City of Yelets, the Virgin Mary and Tamerlane (2011), The Violist Danilov (2012), Chess King (2016, based on motifs from Zweig’s Schachnovelle) and Yermak (2019), the ballets The Government Inspector (1980), Battleship Potemkin (1986) and The Queen of Spades (1999), the oratorios Towards the Sun (1982, to verse by Tyutchev), On Behalf of the Globe (1983, to verse by Selvinsky), In My Soul (1996, to verse by Vysotsky), Russian Requiem (2005, to verse by Akhmatova, Brodsky, Tyutchev, Yesenin, Blok, Zabolotsky and the text of Psalm 62), A Sovereign Affair (2013, marking four centuries of the House of Romanov), the symphony The Master and Margarita (1985), the symphonic poem Northern Palmyra Nocturnes (1994), Requiem for Khojaly (2012), the musicals The Sinner (2001) and The Life and Incredible Adventures of Oliver Twist (2014), the operetta The Provincial (1997) and concerti for piano, violin, viola, cello, double bass, bassoon, saxophone, string quartets, piano trios, ballad songs, sonatas and suites among numerous other opuses as well as music for cinema, TV films and theatre productions.

Recipient of the City of Moscow Prize for Literature and the Arts (2011), the Dmitry Shostakovich Prize (2011) and the Government of the Russian Federation Prize for Culture (2016).

Armenian State Symphony Orchestra

The famous Armenian conductor Sergey Smbatyan founded the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra (ASSO) in 2005. He and a group of gifted young musicians who shared similar love and dedication towards music and art, decided to come together to make their dream of an orchestra come true. At that time the Orchestra was still known as the State Youth Orchestra of Armenia. Now, it is known as the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra (ASSO). Sergey Smbatyan is not only the Founder but also the Artistic Director and the Principal Conductor of the ASSO. 

The ASSO has worked with Valery Gergiev, Krzysztof Penderecki, Vladimir Spivakov, Maxim Vengerov, Denis Matsuev, Vadim Repin, Vag Papyan, Boris Berezovsky and many others.

The ASSO has performed in numerous venues both in Armenia and elsewhere. World-famous concert halls have hosted the ASSO including but not limited to concert halls in Germany, France, Russia, Belgium, China, The Netherlands, Italy, Lebanon, etc. The musicians have performed in Opera Garnier (Paris), Konzerthaus (Berlin), The Elbphilharmonie (Hamburg), Musikverein (Vienna), Dubai Opera House, Teatro Real (Madrid), Dr. Anton Philipszaal (Hague), Palais des Beaux-Arts (Brussels), P. Tchaikovsky Philharmonic Concert Hall and Conservatory Great Concert Hall (Moscow), etc. ASSO's concerts have been broadcasted by, Euronews, and Classic fm.

The Orchestra has taken part in numerous international festivals, to name a few, “Moscow Easter Festival” (Moscow, Russia), “YOUNG EURO CLASSIC'' (Berlin, Germany), "Kultursommer Nordhessen" (Kassel, Germany), "Young Classic Wratislavia" (Wroclaw, Poland), Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival, and many others. In addition, the ASSO has been the resident orchestra at the Aram Khachaturian International Competition (since 2007) and performed as a resident orchestra at the Musica Riva International Festival (2013, Riva del Garda, Italy), the 9th Frederic Chopin International Competition for Young Pianists (2014, Foshan, China), the Al Bustan International Festival (2014-2016, Beirut, Lebanon), Malta International Music Festival (2018), etc. In 2019, the Orchestra performed Nino Rota's original score from “The Godfather” and John Williams' music from “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” under the baton of American composer/conductor Justin Freer in Dubai Opera House.

The orchestra has got a rich portfolio of interesting musical projects and charitable events both in Armenia and overseas. Since 2010, the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra with the support of the RA Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport has been holding the annual Armenian Composers' Art Festival and since 2013, the yearly Khachaturian International Festival. The ASSO continually presents new exciting projects, such as concert series entitled “Hollywood Non-Stop,” “Cartoon Non-Stop,” “Tours to...”, “ASSO Meets” and others. Another fantastic project is the regular series “Master Creates Masters.” Within this project, the younger musicians get the chance to take master classes from world-famous masters such as Valery Gergiev, Zakhar Bron, and others. Since 2018 the Orchestra has been implementing the valuable educational-cultural project DasA with the support of the RA Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport. 

The extensive repertoire of the Orchestra ranges from classical to contemporary music. In 2011 the Orchestra, headed by the artistic director and principal conductor Sergey Smbatyan, released its first CD entitled Music is the Answer. Recorded at Sony recording studio, the CD includes works by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Eduard Hayrapetyan.


Alexander Tchaikovsky

Grand Serenade

Etudes in Simple Tones
Concerto for Viola,
Piano and Orchestra

I Andante
II Con moto
III Adagio, a tempo rubato - Appasionato
IV Con mano destra
V Adagio - Poco più mosso - Allegro con brio - Con rabbia

Alexander Tchaikovsky

Double Concerto
for Two Pianos and Orchestra

I Allegro ma non troppa
II Andante - Cadenza - Moderato
III Allegro - Meno mosso

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