Constantine Orbelian

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Constantine Orbelian

Constantine Garrievich Orbelian (Russian: Орбелян Константин Гарриевич, born San Francisco, 27 August 1956) is an American conductor and pianist of Armenian and Russian descent. He is named after his paternal uncle Konstantin Orbelyan a major Russian and Armenian film composer.[1]


Orbelian made his concert debut as a pianist at the age of 11 with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. In his early teens he went to the then Soviet Union on a music scholarship, then studied at Juilliard. As a pianist he played with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic, Scottish National Orchestra, Russian State Symphony Orchestra, Moscow Virtuosi, Budapest Chamber Orchestra. His recording of the Khachaturian piano concerto won a "Best Concerto Recording of the Year" award in the United Kingdom.[2]

Later Orbelian has concentrated on conducting. He has been the musical director of the Moscow Chamber Orchestra from 1991, Philharmonia of Russia and State Academic Chamber Orchestra of Russia. In 2004 he became the first foreign citizen awarded the People's Artist of Russia title.


He has an extensive discography, mainly for Delos Records.[3] A politically and artistically significant recording was the programme "Where Are You, My Brothers?" in the spring of 2003 in front of an audience of 6,000 at the Kremlin Palace in Moscow, of new arrangements of songs from the World War II era performed by Dmitry Hvorostovsky and the Moscow Chamber Orchestra. The telecast was seen on Russian Television by over 90 million viewers. The same programme was performed with the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra for survivors of the Siege of Leningrad on January 16, 2004.


"Evgeny Svetlanov", Conducted by Constantine Orbelian / Deutsche Grammophon


  1. ^ Bio "Harry's younger brother, Konstantin, who was only 11 when the two boys were cast out on the street upon the arrest of their parents, was a talented pianist who managed to get a job playing the piano in the circus at that tender age. He eventually became a leading composer of popular songs and film scores in Russia."
  2. ^ Biography
  3. ^ Discography

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