The Southland Times, New Zealand
Nov 28 2014


Acclaimed Armenian cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan performed with the New
Zealand Symphony Orchestra in Invercargill on Wednesday night.

>From an early age, internationally acclaimed cellist Narek
Hakhnazaryan knew he wanted to perform with great orchestras around
the world.

Growing up as part of a musical family in Armenia, the now 26-year-old
virtuoso knew he would follow in the family's stead.

It was when he and his mother moved to Moscow to study music, splitting
the family, he saw his path was clear.

The early commitment to the craft paid off and now, 15 years later,
Hakhnazaryan has an impressive swathe of awards and accolades under
his belt, including the Gold Medal at the 2011 XIV International
Tchaikovsky Competition, the most prestigious prize given to a cellist.

Despite an obvious drive to succeed, Hakhnazaryan insists he's no
different to any other musician.

"It's a goal of any musician to have a successful career. I'm not
an exception."

"Of course I am proud of myself ... I'm happy that at 26 I have
achieved a lot."

However, he admits it's a demanding life with a tight schedule and a
lot of travel. Speaking after flying in to Invercargill on Wednesday
as part of a six-stop tour with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra,
Hakhnazaryan said he was "a little tired".

But, he was quick to add, he's been having a lot of fun.

"I meet a lot of people and see a lot of places playing with a great
orchestra. Any musician dreams about it."

He, with Australian conductor Ben Northey have joined forces for
the NZSO's tour In the Hall of the Mountain King, which, he said was
going really well.

"The most important thing is to have a connection between the orchestra
the conductor and the soloist and I think that's what we have with
the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

"From the very first rehearsal it went very easy.

"Sometimes the interpretation and the imagination of how it should
sound is different and there are sometimes problems when musicians
don't agree ... not in this case."

This worked well with his style of performing. As he put it, he
doesn't like to rehearse too much in case it harmed the music.

"I like to improvise on stage. Of course we rehearse the main stuff,
the core, but I still leave room for detail and having fun on stage.

That's what it's all about."

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- The Southland Times