Clarinettist to perform at symphony finale

Clarinettist Narek Arutyunian, a native of Armenia, will perform Saturday with the Albany Symphony Orchestra.

Clarinettist Narek Arutyunian, a native of Armenia, will perform Saturday with the Albany Symphony Orchestra.

ALBANY, Ga. -- The Albany Symphony Orchestra will feature young Armenian-American clarinettist Narek Arutyunian, winner of the 2010 Young Concert Artist International Auditions in New York, at its 2012-13 season finale on Saturday at 7:30 pm in the Albany Municipal Auditorium.

Arutyunian will perform the Clarinet Concerto by French composer Jean Francaix. The orchestra will also play Debussy's Impressionistic Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, Bizet's Symphony in C Major and Ravel's ever-popular masterpiece Bolero.

"I was present to hear Narek when he won the Young Concert Artists auditions. Not only was he an overwhelming talent, his rapport with the audience was exceptional," said ASO Music Director Claire Fox Hillard.

Arutyunian is a player who "reaches passionate depths with seemingly effortless technical prowess and beguiling sensitivity" (The Washington Post). He recently performed as a soloist with the Boston Pops and has appeared in recitals and residencies at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts, Music for Youth and the Buffalo (NY) Chamber Music Society.

Arutyunian has also performed at the Louvre Auditorium in Paris and at the Pallazzo del Principe in Genoa. He has appeared as soloist with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra in the Czech Republic, and in Russia with the Kaliningrad Philharmonic, the Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra and the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra.

Arutyunian's clarinet is a personal gift from the conductor and violinist Vladimir Spivakov and he receives general support for his career from the Guzik Foundation in California.

He won first prize at age 16 in the International Young Musicians Competition in Prague and at 15 in the Musical Youth of the Planet Competition in Moscow. In addition, he was awarded a prize by renowned violinist and conductor Yuri Bashmet to perform concerts and record the Weber Concertino for clarinet with the State Symphony Orchestra of New Russia.

Born in 1992 in Gyumri, Armenia, Arutyunian's family moved to Moscow when he was three. He graduated from the Moscow State Conservatory. He currently lives in New York and works with Charles Neidich at The Julliard School.

Admission is $35 or $25, depending on seat location, and $20 for military personnel and senior citizens 65 and older. Tickets are available by calling the Symphony office at 229.430.8933, on-line at AlbanySymphony.org or at the box office one hour before the concert.

Pre-concert notes will be provided by Hillard and Arutyunian from the stage at 6:30 pm. Following the concert, the Conductor's Circle reception is held at the Carnegie Library, now the Albany Area Arts Council, next door to the Auditorium. Members and others who may pay at the door ($15) can enjoy refreshments and greet Hillard and the guest artist.

The symphony is a fully professional per service orchestra serving the Southwest Georgia region with classical, pops, educational and special concerts. The orchestra celebrates its 50th season in 2014. Recognized for its innovative audience developmental efforts and diverse programming, the orchestra has received the League of American Orchestras and American Society of Composers Authors Publishers (ASCAP) awards on multiple occasions.

For more information and to purchase tickets online, visit albanysymphony.org or call (229) 430-8933.