Georgs Pelēcis | Contemporary Classics Composers' Festival

Contemporary Classics Composers' Festival

Armenia · 2019

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






Georgs Pelēcis

Armenian State Symphony Orchestra

Sergey Smbatyan,

Roberto Cominati, Piano

Costanza Principe, 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

Roberto Cominati


In Italy he has been invited by some of the most prestigious musical institutions, like the Teatro alla Scala, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Teatro La Fenice di Venezia, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Teatro San Carlo di Napoli, Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova, the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai, the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, the Festival Pianistico di Brescia e Bergamo, the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto. He has also performed at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, at the Konzerthaus in Berlin, at Salzburg's Festival, at the Gasteig in Munich, at the Monnaie in Brussels, at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, and in many other halls in England, Belgium, Holland, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Finland, Japan, and Australia. 

The conductors he has worked with include Sir Simon Rattle, Daniele Gatti, Andrej Borejko, Leon Fleisher, Daniel Harding, Yuri Ahronovitch, David Robertson, Mikhail Pletnev, Alexander Lazarev, Andrea Battistoni, Michele Mariotti, Juraj Valčuha, Sascha Goetzel, and Eliahu Inbal.

The present season has Cominati performing at the Bratislava Festival, in Turin with the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai, in Palermo with the Orchestra del Teatro Massimo, at La Scala – where he will be interpreting a selection of works by Chopin for the ballet La Dame aux camélias – and then again in Milan with the Orchestra Sinfonica Giuseppe Verdi, in New York with the Chamber Orchestra of New York, at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam within the prestigious Meesterpianisten series, and in Bologna with the Orchestra del Teatro Comunale led by Mariotti.

He has made recordings under Emi, «Suonare News», Acousence, and he has recorded the complete piano works of Ravel for «Amadeus». He recorded the complete piano works by Claude Debussy, for the centenary of his death celebrated in 2018.

Awarded first prize at the “Alfredo Casella” International Competition in Naples in 1991, Roberto Cominati came to the attention of critics and of the most renowned International concert halls when he won first prize at the “Ferruccio Busoni” Competition in Bolzano in 1993.

Costanza Principe


Ms Principe has been featured in concert series organised by organisations such as Settembre dell'Accademia Filarmonica di Verona, Serate Musicali, Ravello Festival, Festival Pianistico di Brescia e Bergamo, Giovine Orchestra Genovese and, on occasion of her Wigmore Hall recital debut in 2016, the Kirckman Concert Society in London. 

Past highlights include her London orchestral debut where she performed Prokofiev's Second Piano Concerto op. 16 with the Royal Academy Symphony Orchestra conducted by Manuel Lopez-Gomez;

performances of Rachmaninov Concerto n. 3 with the Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana at the Politeama Theatre in Palermo conducted by Gyorgy Rath, an Italian tournèe with the Turkish National Youth Orchestra conducted by Cem Mansur, and her French orchestral debut playing Beethoven Concerto n. 1 with Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice conducted by Gyorgy Rath.

Costanza Principe was born in Italy in 1993 and started playing the piano aged 6. After graduating from the Milan Conservatory in 2010 cum laude she obtained her Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours at the Royal Academy of Music with Christopher Elton in 2015 and her Master of Arts with Dinstinction and the DipRam, the highest award for an outstanding final performance. Throughout her studies, she has been generously supported by the Liversidge Award, the Hilda Day Scholarship, he Winifred Christie Award, the Skyrme Hart Foundation and the Craxton Memorial Award.

Her performances have been broadcast on Radio Classica, Italian TV and RaiRadio3.  She is currently studying with Benedetto Lupo at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome.

Since her public debut aged 7, Italian pianist Costanza Principe has performed extensively in Italy, UK, France and South America both as a soloist and a chamber musician. Winner of several prizes at national and international competitions, such as the Lilian Davies Prize from the Royal Academy of Music, the Beethoven Society of Europe Intercollegiate Piano Competition (2nd prize), the Premio Pecar International Competition in Gorizia, Italy (2nd prize) and the Concours International de Piano in Lagnysur Marne (2nd prize) and recipient of three consequent Martin Musical Scholarship awards from the MMSF/Philharmonia Orchestra, she made her debut with orchestra in 2008 playing three Mozart Concertos with the Filarmonici Europei Orchestra conducted by Aldo Ceccato. 

She has appeared as a soloist with, amongst the others, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice, the Pomeriggi Musicali Orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfonica de Santa Fe, the Turkish National Youth Orchestra, the Orchestra del Teatro Coccia di Novara, the Melicus Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana and the Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana, and she played in many prestigious concert halls and festivals in such as Wigmore Hall in London, Opera de Nice, Verdi Hall, Puccini Hall, Dal Verme Theatre, Milan Auditorium, Piccolo Theatre, Milan State and Bocconi Universities, Modern Art Gallery in Milan, Teatro Filarmonico in Verona, Fraschini Theatre in Pavia, Rossini Theatre in Pesaro, Muse Theatre in Ancona, Politeama Theatre in Palermo, Lyceum in Florence, Cappella Paolina in Quirinale, Rome, Steinway Hall in London, Duke's Hall and David Josefowitz Halls in the Royal Academy of Music, Teatro 1ro de Mayo in Santa Fe (Argentina).



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.


Georgs Pelēcis

Endorphin Music
for Symphony Orchestra

Georgs Pelēcis

Dedication to My Teacher

Concert for two pianos,
orchestra and tape

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