Narek Hakhnazaryan and Noreen Cassidy-Polera

February 21, 2018, 12:15 pm

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Narek Haknazaryan cellist Photo: Marco Borggreve

Award winning Armenian cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan is joined by pianist Noreen Cassidy-Polera for this Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert broadcast.

About the artists:
Narkek Hakhnazaryn

Since winning the Cello First Prize and Gold Medal at the XIV International Tchaikovsky Competition in 2011 at the age of 22, Armenian cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan has performed with major orchestras across the globe and has established himself internationally as one of the finest cellists of his generation. Hakhnazaryan has earned critical acclaim worldwide, with The Strad describing him as “dazzlingly brilliant” and the San Francisco Chronicle hailing his performing as “nothing short of magnificent”.  In 2014 he was named a BBC New Generation Artist and in August 2016 he made his highly distinguished BBC Proms debut.

The cellist’s impressive performance history includes concertos with the Detroit, Chicago, Seattle, Milwaukee, Toronto, London, Sydney, and NHK Symphony Orchestras, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival Orchestra, the Rotterdam, Czech, and Seoul Philharmonics, the Frankfurt Radio Orchestra, and l’Orchestre de Paris, among others, and he has appeared with acclaimed conductors such as Gergiev, Guerrero, Hrůša, Koopman, Neemi Järvi, and Slatkin.  An eager chamber musician and recitalist, Hakhnazaryan has performed in New York’s Carnegie Hall, Boston’s Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory, Chicago’s Harris Theatre, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Salle Pleyel Paris, Wigmore Hall, Berlin Konzerthaus, Vienna Konzerthaus, Oji Hall Tokyo, Shanghai Concert Hall, and esteemed festivals such as Ravinia, Aspen, Piatigorsky, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Kissinger Sommer, Robeco Summer concerts, Beethovenfest Bonn, Mikkeli, Pau Casals, Lucerne, and Verbier. The cellist is Artist-in-Residence with the Malta Philharmonic, and he regularly tours with the Z.E.N. Piano Trio with colleagues Zhou Zhang and Esther Yoo.

Hakhnazaryan was mentored by the late Rostropovich and plays the 1707 Joseph Guarneri cello and F.X. Tourte and Benoit Rolland bows.

Noreen Cassidy-Polera
Pianist Noreen Cassidy-Polera ranks among the most highly regarded and diverse chamber artists performing today. She maintains a career that has taken her to every major American music center and abroad to Europe, Russia, and Asia. Recent performances include those at Alice Tully Hall, Zankel Hall and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, 92nd Street Y, Jordan Hall, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Kennedy Center, and Salle Cortot. She has appeared at the Caramoor, Bard, Grand Teton, and Cape Cod music festivals, and has performed with the chamber music societies of Philadelphia and La Jolla. She has recorded for Sony, EMI, Audiophon, and Centaur Records. Ms. Cassidy-Polera has collaborated with leading soloists, including David Shifrin, Matt Haimovitz, Carter Brey, Antonio Meneses, Aurora-Natalie Ginastera, Yo-Yo Ma, and Leonard Rose. Winner of the accompanying prize at the VIII International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, she regularly collaborates with laureates of the Queen Elisabeth, Tchaikovsky, and Naumburg international competitions.

Ms. Cassidy-Polera’s mastery and affection for the complete standard cello-piano repertory is well-known, as is her attention and dedication to the works of contemporary composers. In recent seasons, she performed Elliott Carter’s venerable Sonata for Cello and Piano on tour in Paris, New York, and Philadelphia, along with new works by Lowell Liebermann, Benjamin C. S. Boyle, and Kenji Bunch to critical acclaim. Her CD recording Sound Vessels (with cellist Scott Kluksdahl) features the recording premiere of Richard Wernick’s Duo, as well as works by Robert Helps, Augusta Read Thomas, and Elliott Carter.

Ms. Cassidy-Polera holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from The Juilliard School, where she studied with Martin Canin.

Bios provided by the International Music Foundation.


Adagio and Allegro, Op. 70, by Schumann

Five Pieces on Folk Themes, by Sulkhan Tsintsadze

Méditation from Thaïs, by Massenet

Requiebros, by Cassadó