Armen Anassian is an Armenian violinist who has played with the Los Angeles Opera and is concertmaster of the Santa Clarita Symphony, in Santa Clarita, California. He has performed in hundreds of concerts around the world with many notable symphony orchestras. He has also recorded violin with numerous artists including Conductor of the Yanni Symphony Orchestra, as well as working with the recording and film industries with violin credits on many film soundtracks.
Anassian was born and raised in Armenia where he began his musical studies, and moved to the United States with his family at the age of 15. He graduated from Armenian Mesrobian High School in Pico Rivera, California in 1981. He holds Masters degrees in Instrumental Conducting and Violin Performance, and studied in the United States, Armenia, and Germany. His teachers include Rainer Kussmaul, Sidney Weiss, Dorothy DeLay, and conductor Michael Zearott. Anassian has held Conducting and/or Concertmaster positions with such noted groups as the Hoboken Chamber Orchestra, Freiburg Chamber Orchestra, Heidelberg Chamber Orchestra, and the International Zelt Musik Orchestra. He has performed hundreds of concerts in France, England, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, China, India, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Australia, Canada, Mexico, and all over the United States. He was invited to perform the Khachaturian Violin Concerto in Armenia with the Armenian National Philharmonic under the baton of his father, Henrik Anassian. In addition to playing violin with the Los Angeles Opera, Annasian is Concertmaster with the Symphony in the Glen. He first collaborated with Santa Clarita Symphony with Maestro Robert E. Lawson in 1999 when he performed Brahms’ "Violin Concerto" with the Symphony of the Canyons Orchestra. In the United States, Anassian has been a featured soloist with the California Philharmonic Orchestra, Pasadena Pops Orchestra, Riverside Philharmonic Orchestra, Burbank Symphony Orchestra, Antelope Valley Symphony Orchestra, and the Pacific Palisades Symphony Orchestra.
Anassian was hired by Yanni as a Concertmaster for the 1994 tour, as well as serving as a violin soloist. He appears on the live concert videos, Yanni Live at Royal Albert Hall and Tribute. According to Armen, Yanni hired him as a conductor "on faith" - as he had never watched him conduct an orchestra. "That's how Yanni does many things," Anassian said in a 1998 interview with the Toledo Blade. Anassian concedes that he had some doubts about the artist's plans to perform at India's Taj Mahal and China's Forbidden City, for Tribute. "To be honest, a few years ago when he was talking about it, the idea was so amazing. I myself was very skeptical, understandably so. But the truth is, it happened. We did it." He goes on to say, "I did one tour as concertmaster and I got to know [Yanni] very, very well." "[Yanni] heavily relies on his instincts, and I am happy to say, they're usually good. Especially when it comes to people, when it comes to audiences, when it comes to music, and what's expected of him." Anassian said the Tribute video looks great but watching it on film cannot compare to actually being at the Taj Mahal and Forbidden City concerts. "It doesn't feel the same. It doesn't smell the same," he said with a laugh. "It's hard to put it in a nutshell. It was a life-changing experience." The contrast he encountered in India was profound. "Unless you go to India...you cannot fathom that poverty and deprivation on the one hand and such overwhelming beauty as the Taj Mahal on the other hand. There was always that conflict that dominated my days in India." He said that he hears from many fans about how Yanni's music has had a positive impact on their lives, but from the conductor's podium he's working too hard to notice. "We're so involved in the music, we take it for granted. We do it every day."
Recording credits and soundtracks
Recording credits also include artists such as Fergie, Ricardo Arjona, Dave Hollister, Hans Zimmer, James Horner, and Will Downing. Anassian frequently works with the recording and film industries, playing regularly with composers such as John Williams, James Horner, Hans Zimmer, James Newton Howard, Alan Silvestri, and Danny Elfman. Soundtrack credits include Rush Hour 2, Matchstick Men, Twisted, King Kong, The Legend of Zorro, The Nativity Story, Robots, The Skeleton Key, Spanglish, Steamboy, The Lost City, Blades of Glory, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers, and Gracie.
- "Profile at the Santa Clarita Symphony". scsymphony.com. Archived from the original on 8 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-23.
- "Interview from the Toledo Blade". serve.com. 1998-02-01. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-11-14.
- "Profile at Dilijan Chamber Music Series". larkmusicalsociety.com. Archived from the original on 2007-12-28. Retrieved 2007-11-14.
- "Santa Clarita Symphony News". mysantaclarita.com. Archived from the original on 2007-10-09. Retrieved 2007-11-14.
- "Profile at Reflections". an unofficial Yanni fan site. 2003. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-05-14.
- "AMG credits". Allmusic. Retrieved 2007-11-14.