Hailed as "a cellist of uncommon attainments" by the Boston Globe, Suren Bagratuni was winner of the Silver Medal at the 1986 Tchaikovsky Competition while still a student at the Moscow Conservatory. He has gone on to a distinguished international career as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and recording artist. In addition to performing throughout the former Soviet Union, he has toured worldwide earning enthusiastic praise in both traditional and contemporary repertoire.
As soloist Mr. Bagratuni has performed with all the major orchestras in the former Soviet Union, including the Moscow Philharmonic with Valery Gergiev, and has also appeared with the Boston Pops, L'Orchestre Jeune Philharmonie in Paris, the Armenian Philharmonic, the Weimar Staatskapelle, the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, the symphony orchestras of Chile, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic, the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, the orchestras of Daegu and Ulsan in Korea, with the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and many others.
Recital and chamber music appearances have included guest invitations with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Newport Music Festival, Festival of the Hamptons, the "Russian Winter" Festival in Moscow, the El Paso Pro Musica Festival, and numerous international festivals in Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Mexico, Korea and Taiwan.
Other solo appearances have included recitals in major concert venues of New York, Seoul, Taipei, Paris, Geneva, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Melbourne, Leipzig, Dresden, Berlin and a highly praised Munich recital debut at the Gasteig; on tour in South Africa in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town; at the Krannert Center in Illinois, Worchester’s Mechanics Hall, and Jordan Hall in Boston.
Suren Bagratuni won critical acclaim for his first CD release on the Ongaku label, featuring works for solo cello. Fanfare called his Ongaku recording of the sonatas by Prokofiev and Shostakovich with pianist Adrian Oetiker "impressively bold accounts". His recording with Mr. Oetiker was released on the BGR (Blue Griffin Recordings) label and includes sonatas by Debussy and Rachmaninoff, along with
Stravinsky's "Suite Italienne." His BGR release is of the Bach Cello Suites, described in Fanfare as "captivating, occasionally controversial, and always expressive" is undergoing its second print due to high popularity and his latest recording of “Complete Beethoven works for cello and piano” received very positive reviews, and also is in high demand. Mr. Bagratuni’s discography consists of 16 CD and LP recordings, and the latest, “Music of Armenia” includes 5 World premiere and an American premiere recordings.
Mr. Bagratuni also appears on a recording of Trios by Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, and Rachmaninoff with the Moscow Conservatory Trio on the CMH label. Mr. Bagratuni has recorded for Centaur, Melodiya, Marco Polo, and has been featured on CBC Radio Canada, the Bayerischer Rundfunk in Germany, and WNYC in New York, NPR, and WGBH Radio in Boston.
A passionate advocate for contemporary music, Mr. Bagratuni has commissioned and premiered numerous Concertos and pieces for cello and ensembles. Only in 2013-14 season he performed 5 newly composed pieces written for him by Armenian contemporary composer Vache Sharafyan. His latest debut with Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra included the American premiere of Double Concerto by Tigran Mansourian, one of the greatest contemporary composers.
Mr. Bagratuni is Professor of Cello at Michigan State University where he maintains a very busy teaching schedule, and serves as co-chair of String area. He is also the Artistic Director of the annual Cello Plus Festival, called "one of the premiere classical happenings."
Professor Bagratuni has presented master classes throughout Europe, South America, the Far East, South Africa, Armenia, Canada and at numerous schools in the U.S. including the New England Conservatory, Peabody Conservatory and the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Born in Yerevan, Armenia, Mr. Bagratuni began his musical education there at the age of seven, studying with renowned professor Zareh Sarkisyan. He began performing at age ten, by age fourteen appeared as a concerto soloist, and by age 17 was a winner of National and International competitions. He continued his studies at the Moscow Conservatory where he was tutored by professor Natalia Shakhovskaya and taking private lessons from legendary Daniel Shafran. In 1988, he won first prize in the Vittorio Gui International
Competition in Italy. In the United States Mr. Bagratuni was awarded the Artist Diploma of the New England Conservatory of Music, studying with professor Laurence Lesser.