"Energy and tonal depth...hauntingly emotional"
“The string honey of the afternoon came from Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings…Demirjian immediately made it clear this was not to be a contemplative reading, but instead one of energy and tonal depth that made use of the rich string sonority built majestically in the most positive way. While the orchestra’s performance of the Elégie movement was hauntingly emotional, the return of Tchaikovsky’s opening theme in the finale felt pivotal—the essence of the successful unifying dramatic denouement that artists and musicians strive for, but few ever achieve.”
“If works of music were living human beings, they would no doubt be nervous, if not outright frightened, to be paired on a concert with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Yet, the pairing of contemporary works with Beethoven’s brilliantly majestic and epic final symphony has become a fairly common occurrence for 21st Century orchestras, and for probably sound programming reasons. That was the wildly successful approach taken by the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra’s music director Aram Demirjian in this weekend’s Masterworks concerts in which the evening’s works were stylistic opposites by their sonic appearances, but were bound together by a philosophical theme, one that is inarguably relevant to the contemporary world…
…On this occasion of the Ninth, the KSO gave the audience what they came for—a feast of emotions and well-played performances across the orchestra. Demirjian built the excitement gradually on Friday evening, extracting warmth and dramatic details in the first two movements with a careful ear for expressive dynamics. The third movement, Adagio, was simply sublime in the emerging details and vibrant personality.”
"Graceful and energetic direction...outstanding."
MacLean is using his own very deftly “tweaked” and fluidly staged version of the 1989 Scottish Opera edition of the work, with a 37-piece onstage orchestra superbly conducted by Aram Demirjian, a fleet young artist with an impressive list of credits, who even engages in a delightful comic cameo during the show. And Michael Ganio’s set of curving platforms and a constellation-filled sky, Joe Payne’s projections, Broadway master Jennifer Tipton’s lighting, Bill Black’s costumes and Curtis Craig’s impeccable sound design (every lyric in this word-dense show was crystal clear), richly enhances the story’s wildly picaresque, continent-and-history-spanning story.
KSO is 'hall of the living'
Under the graceful and energetic direction of guest conductor Aram Demirjian, the Sarasota Orchestra presented an outstanding program Saturday evening, a demanding concert that encompassed several centuries and many styles, from 18th century courtly music to a big band score from today.
"A quietly euphoric performance of Appalachian Spring."
“During the selection of the new music director for the Knoxville Symphony, the KSO selection committee chose young conductor Aram Demirjian and charged him with shaking things up and making the KSO’s concerts the exhibition hall of living music.
They got what they paid for in one huge installment at Thursday night’s KSO masterworks concert at the Tennessee Theatre.”
“…this was a quietly euphoric performance of Appalachian Spring—just what an anxious nation needed.”