He is one of the leading pianists of our time: Hailed for his emotional intensity, bold energy and remarkable levels of color, Sergei Babayan brings a deep understanding and insight to a stylistically diverse repertoire, which includes a performance history of 60 concerts. Le Figaro has praised his “unequaled touch, perfectly harmonious phrasing and breathtaking virtuosity.” Le Devoir from Montreal put it simply: “Sergei Babayan is a genius. Period.”
Sergei Babayan has collaborated with such conductors as Yuri Temirkanov, Neeme Järvi, Hans Graf, David Robertson, Tugan Sokhiev, and Dima Slobodeniouk, among others. Over the years, Babayan has performed with Valery Gergiev numerous times to great critical acclaim, including appearances at the International Festival “Stars of the White Nights”, the Moscow Easter Festival, the Barbican Centre with Mo. Gergiev conducting the London Symphony Orchestra, in St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Théâtre des Champs-Elyseés in Paris, at the Salzburg Festival, and at the Rotterdam Philharmonic-Gergiev Festival where Babayan was artist-in-residence.
In the 2017/18 season, Mr. Babayan’s European schedule includes concert performances with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Cameristi del Teatro alla Scala, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Mariinsky Orchestra, Szczecin and Belgrade Philharmonics and the Verbier Festival Orchestra, at Daniel Barenboim’s spectacular new Pierre Boulez Hall in Berlin, at Philharmonie Essen, Stuttgart Liederhalle and Wigmore Hall. With Martha Argerich, with whom he has frequently collaborated for many years, he will also appear in a number of European cities. Sergei Babayan has been regularly invited to leading festivals in Verbier and Lugano, Klavier-Festival Ruhr, Edinburgh Festival and the ‘Stars of the White Nights’ Festival in St. Petersburg. Mr. Babayan performs with the world’s foremost orchestras, including the London Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre, Warsaw Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Nationale de Lille, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the New World Symphony.
His engagements and tours have brought him to preeminent international concert venues including Salle Gaveau in Paris, Wigmore Hall in London, Carnegie Hall in New York, the Warsaw Philharmony, Severance Hall in Cleveland, Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Herkulessaal in Munich, Liederhalle in Stuttgart, Meistersingerhalle in Nuremberg, Konzerthaus Berlin, Brahms-Saal Karlsruhe, Beethovenhalle Bonn, Rudolfinum-Dvorak Hall in Prague, Victora Hall in Geneva and many others. Mr. Babayan’s performances have been broadcast by Radio France, Polish Radio and Television, BBC-TV and BBC Radio 3, NHK Satellite Television and Medici TV.
Born in Armenia into a musical family, Babayan began his studies there with Georgy Saradjev and continued at the Moscow Conservatory with Mikhail Pletnev, Vera Gornostayeva and Lev Naumov. Following his first trip outside of the USSR in 1989, he won consecutive first prizes in several major international competitions including the Cleveland International Piano Competition, the Hamamatsu Piano Competition, and the Scottish International Piano Competition. An American citizen, he lives in New York City.