Salt Lake Symphony Guest Artist

Dickran Atamian

Photo of Dickran Atamian - Guest Artist
Dickran Atamian has enjoyed a career that has spanned a quarter-century and covered four continents. He has established himself as a pianist of dazzling style, meaningful and exquisite musical insights, incomparable mercurial gifts, and an unmatched visceral excitement. In the year 2000, he celebrated his 25th season as First Prize winner of the 50th Anniversary Naumburg International Piano Competition held at Carnegie Hall. Additional award distinctions include First Prize in the International Recording Competition, a Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund for Music Prize and Prize-Winner in the William Kapell International Piano Competition.

Since his debut with the Phoenix Symphony at age 11, he has stunned sold-out audiences in such places as Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall and Alice Tully Hall, the 92nd Street Y, Town Hall, and Carnegie Hall in New York, Orchestra Hall in Chicago, the Kennedy Center and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, Symphony Hall in Boston, Salle Gaveau in Paris, Town Hall in Sidney and the Great Hall in Moscow. He has played hundreds of concerts with many of America’s most important orchestral ensembles including the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Honolulu Symphony, and the Boston Pops. Other orchestral appearances include the Antwerp Sinfonia, Leningrad Philharmonic, Seoul Philharmonic, and the Royal Philharmonic. He also has appeared at many U.S. music festivals including Aspen, Marlboro and Ravinia.

In addition to performing with many of the major orchestras, Atamian has collaborated with many renowned conductors. Lorin Maazel, Gerard Schwarz, Eduardo Mata, David Zinman, James DePreist, Gustav Meier, Victor Allessandro, Verner Torkanowsky, Jens Nygaard, Alan Hovanhess and scores of other conductors fill the pages of Atamian's expansive and energized career.

Since his arrival on the international music scene in 1975, Atamian’s career has been one of singular achievements. In 1979, he gave the world premiere of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring for solo piano at Carnegie Hall, followed by its world television premiere on PBS (one of five recital specials voted "Best of PBS" in 1981) and its world premiere recording for RCA Red Seal (the first digital solo piano recording ever made). The PBS series was widely seen nationally and in syndication. In 1977, Atamian gave one of only two recitals performed in celebration of the Carter Inaugural Events. Finally, he created, performed in, and served as Artistic Director for several music festivals in Texas and Arizona from 1979 to 1991, including the Austin Four Seasons Music Festival and the Colly Soleri Music Center at Arcosanti.

Atamian has recordings with the RCA Red Seal, Lyra House, Ltd., and Delos International labels. They have received world-wide acclaim from numerous major newspapers and periodicals. His orchestral debut on Delos includes Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto and the Khatchaturian Piano Concerto with Gerard Schwarz conducting the Seattle Symphony. Atamian’s many solo CD recordings include an all-Chopin disc, an all-Beethoven recording and an all-Russian album. Mr. Atamian’s recording of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring drew the following praise from the San Francisco Examiner: "These remain 31 of the most exciting minutes of piano playing ever recorded."

Awards besides the Naumburg victory include First Prize in the International Recording Competition, a Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund for music prize and prize-winner in the William Kapell International Piano Competition.

Mr. Atamian’s recent and upcoming engagements include the Phoenix Symphony, San Diego Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Orquesta Sinfonica de Castilla y Leon, Edmonton Symphony, Anchorage Symphony, Austin Symphony, Memphis Symphony, Boulder Philharmonic, Long Beach Symphony, Alabama Symphony, Shanghai Broadcast Orchestra and the National Orchestra of China in Beijing.

Mr. Atamian is married and has two children. He is an avid baseball fan, a gourmet Armenian cook, and collects Lincoln Memorabilia.