KSO Music Director Aram Demirjian earns prestigious Georg Solti Conducting Award

Knoxville Symphony Orchestra Music Director Aram Demirjian is the 2020 recipient of The Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award.

This prestigious award of $30,000 is the largest grant currently given to American conductors in the formative years of their careers. The award is given annually by The Solti Foundation U.S. to a single promising American conductor 38 years old or younger.

“The Knoxville Symphony family is so incredibly proud of Aram with this very prestigious award,” said Bill Riley, president of the Knoxville Symphony board of directors. “We know firsthand his talent and creativity and are very thankful to have been the beneficiaries of both during the last four years. We congratulate Aram on his recognition and look forward to his continued success.”

The recipient may use the financial portion of the grant in various ways to specifically advance his or her career, whether it be further studies, language study, purchases of scores or travel.

The foundation’s board of directors comprises experts from all areas of the classical music industry; therefore, the award also brings door-opening introductions within the industry and valuable access to professional mentors.

In addition to the 2020 Solti Fellow, Demirjian is the recipient of 2017 and 2019 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance awards, a 2018 Solti Foundation U.S. Opera Residency with Lyric Opera of Chicago (for Massenet’s Cendrillon, assisting Sir Andrew Davis) and the 2011 Robert J. Harth Conducting Prize from the Aspen Music Festival, where he was a three-time Conducting Fellow in the Aspen Conducting Academy.

About The Solti Foundation U.S.
Entering its 20th year of assisting outstanding young U.S. conductors to further develop their talent and careers, The Solti Foundation U.S. is the foremost organization in the United States dedicated exclusively to helping young conductors.

Established in 2000 to honor the memory of the legendary conductor Sir Georg Solti by lending significant support to career-ready young American musicians, in 2004, the Foundation concentrated the focus of its award program to solely assist talented young American conductors early in their professional careers (its original mission was of a more general arts nature). Since then, it has awarded over $900,000 through grants and residencies to American conductors.

More information can be found here.

About Aram Demirjian
Aram Demirjian is the eighth Music Director of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, internationally sought for his dynamic performances, innovative programming concepts and distinctive ability to forge connections with both audiences and performers.

Under Demirjian’s galvanizing leadership, the KSO’s audiences have continued to grow, and the KSO has routinely found itself in the regional and national spotlight. His charismatic rapport with audiences has brought East Tennesseans of all ages, backgrounds and circumstances to the concert hall, and his warm collaboration with the musicians has brought about meaningful artistic growth. Demirjian’s programming has earned praise for turning the KSO’s concerts into “the exhibition hall of living music” (Knox TN Today), featuring creative partnerships with local organizations including Appalachian Ballet, Cirrus Aircraft, GO! Contemporary Dance Works, Knox Brew Tours, the University of Tennessee and national ensembles like PROJECT Trio and American Modern Opera Company, plus two appearances in The Big Ears Festival. A landmark collaboration with the Clarence Brown Theatre, presenting Bernstein’s Candide as part of the Bernstein Centenary celebration, headlined the 2018-19 season, and in 2020, the KSO was one of four North American orchestras to be invited to SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras.

Full bio found here.

About the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra
Led by Music Director Aram Demirjian, the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra consists of 80 professional musicians and performs 300 programs throughout the region each season, reaching audiences of more than 200,000 people. The KSO performs in traditional venues such as the Tennessee Theatre, Bijou Theatre, and Civic Auditorium, as well as non-traditional places like hospitals, schools, city parks, and churches. For more information regarding the KSO, please visit www.knoxvillesymphony.com or call 865-291-3310.