Viennese rising star Emmanuel Tjeknavorian presents his first orchestral album, featuring an unusual and yet highly personal programme. First there is his signature piece, Jean Sibelius’s Violin Concerto, which brought him not one but two prizes at the 2015 Sibelius Competition, and which has been his debut on international concert stages ever since. Then there is the Violin Concerto by his father, Loris Tjeknavorian, which he gives its world premiere on this recording.
As Emmanuel Tjeknavorian sees it, both of these violin concertos on this album share a strong relationship with their composers’ origins. “Just as Sibelius always expressed his Nordic roots in his music, so my father’s proximity to the Armenian and Persian cultures is clearly recognisable in his compositions.” Critics and audiences alike rave about the young violinist’s brilliant technique as well as saluting the astounding artistic maturity demonstrated by this young man from Vienna, praising his skill in combining “a plucky approach and sweetness of tone” (ORF). The present album is a combination of the live recording from the artist’s Frankfurt debut of the Sibelius work in March 2019 accompanied by the hr Symphony Orchestra under the baton of the Spanish conductor Pablo González and a studio production of the Tjeknavorian concerto. Describing that memorable concert in Frankfurt, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung noted that he “never confused coolness with chill, and rose with amazing flexibility to achieve either the double stops or the flageolet flickers”. “A soloist who takes your breath away,” was the verdict of the Gießener Allgemeine. The bonus track on the album is the encore of the Frankfurt concert, the “Crane” by Vardapet Komitas, an Armenian composer.
Emmanuel Tjeknavorian has established himself as a shooting star on the classical scene in a very short time. During the 2017/18 season he was part of the renowned Rising Star project and made his debut with a solo programme on the most important stages throughout Europe. He is currently the youngest Artist in Residence at the Vienna Musikverein, one of the “young and wild” at the Konzerthaus in Dortmund and a regular guest with international orchestras and at music festivals. He most recently debuted in the USA and won a 2018 OPUS Klassik award for his solo album. Playing the Sibelius Violin Concerto, he made his debut with the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic. His next engagements with the Sibelius concerto are in 2020: in London with the Philharmonia Orchestra and at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg. In addition to his success on the concert stage, Emmanuel Tjeknavorian has been making waves in other areas for some years now: on his own radio show “Klassik Tjek” with Radio Klassik in Vienna he talks to his guests about topics that go beyond classical music. Acclaimed by the Rheingau and Mecklenburg-Western Pomeranian music festivals, he has featured in various German-language television programmes, on the French-German ARTE channel and on ORF in concert broadcasts and in portrait formats.
Emmanuel Tjeknavorian is also branching out on another career path. Having successfully conducted orchestras in Vienna and other countries, he will be taking to the rostrum more often from now on. This young man has a promising and varied musical career ahead of him – both as a violinist and as a conductor.