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 54 concertos. Le Figaro has praised his “unequaled touch, perfectly harmonious phrasing and breathtaking virtuosity.”
Highlights of the 2016/2017 season include recitals in Montreal; Vancouver; Lawrence, Kansas; St. Paul, Minnesota; Durham, North Carolina; Charleston, South Carolina; and Evanston, Illinois; duo recitals with Daniil Trifonov in Princeton New Jersey, and Sarasota, Florida; chamber music performances in Los Angeles, and Fort Worth; and a return again to the Verbier Festival for a recital in August 2017.
In the spring of 2016, Mr. Babayan’s recording of Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 5 with the Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev was released on the Mariinsky label to great acclaim.
In the 2015/2016 season, Mr. Babayan’s schedule included concerto performances with the Rotterdam Philharmonic conducted by Valery Gergiev and with the Camerata Israel in Tel Aviv; performances at the “Progetto Martha Argerich” in Lugano, Switzerland; at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, and at Bad Kissengen, Germany; recital and concerto performances in duo with Daniil Trifonov at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia; a return to Wigmore Hall in London; recitals and chamber music performances in Los Angeles; Atlanta; East Lansing, Michigan; and Columbia, South Carolina, among others.
In the 2014/2015 season, Mr. Babayan’s schedule included performances in Lugano with Martha Argerich; a return to the Verbier Festival, where he debuted in July 2014; and performances in London at Wigmore Hall. Of special note was his BBC Proms performance of two Prokofiev piano concertos, numbers 2 and 5, at Royal Albert Hall with the London Symphony Orchestra and Valery Gergiev.
Babayan has collaborated with such conductors as Yuri Temirkanov, Neeme Jarvi, Hans Graf, David Robertson, Tugan Sokhiev, and Kazimierz Kord, 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 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.
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 Philharmonic, Severance Hall in Cleveland, Mariinsky Theatre in St.Petersburg, Herkulessaal in Munich, Liederhalle in Stuttgart, Meistersingerhalle in Nurnberg, Konzerthaus in Berlin, Brahms-Saal in Karlsruhe, Beethovenhalle in Bonn, Philharmonie Hall in Essen, Rudolfinum-Dvorak Hall in Prague, Victora Hall in Geneva in and many others.
Mr. Babayan’s performances have been broadcast by WQXR, WCLV, Radio France, Polish Radio and Television, BBC-TV, 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 Robert Casadesus International Piano Competition (renamed the Cleveland International Piano Competition), the Hamamatsu Piano Competition, and the Scottish International Piano Competition.