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George Pehlivanian
Hometown: Beirut, Lebanon
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George Pehlivanian was recently appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, Sardinia. In addition, since 2005, he has held the post of Chief Conductor of the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra (the first ever foreigner to do so). He also continues as Principal Guest Conductor of the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, and as regular Guest Conductor of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. He has held Principal Guest Conductor positions with the Residentie Orchestra in The Hague (1996-1999) and the Vienna Chamber Orchestra (1996-2000).

Mr. Pehlivanian has conducted many of the world’s leading orchestras, including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonia, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Filarmonica della Scala Milano, Orquesta Santa Cecilia di Roma, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Monte-Carlo Philharmonic, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Orchestra Nazionalle della RAI Torino, BBC Philharmonic, Bamberger Symphoniker, the Norddeutschen, Hessischen and Südwetsdeutschen Runfunks Symphony Orchestras, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Bournemouth Symphony, Orquesta Nacional de España, Orquesta Radio Television de España, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, to name a few. In North America he has conducted the Montreal, Baltimore, Houston, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, St. Paul, Vancouver and Toronto symphony orchestras. Elsewhere, he has worked with the Russian National Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic, Kirov Opera Orchestra, Sydney Symphony, Japan Virtuoso, Malaysian Philharmonic and Hong-Kong Philharmonic Orchestras.

Mr. Pehlivanian is a highly dedicated opera conductor. Past performances include La Voix Humaine by Poulenc in Paris, in La Cite de la Musique and Otello at the Teatro San Carlo di Napoli in 2006 (his Italian lyric debut). He was immediately re-invited to conduct Cavalleria Rusticana and Gianni Schicchi in 2007. In 2008 he will conduct Pique Dame and Andrea Chenier at the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari.

He has conducted in many important Festivals including the closing concert of the first White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Ravenna, Ravello, Aspen, Ljubljana, Grenada, Jeunesse Musicale Wien and Parma Verdi. In 2007 he closed the Ljubljana Festival with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. From 2002-2004, he was the Founder and Artistic Director of the International Music Academy in Gandia (Spain). From the summer of 2005, he is the Founder and Artistic Director of his International Conducting Academy in Portorož (Slovenia).

Mr. Pehlivanian enjoys the privilege of collaborating regularly with the world’s most prestigious soloists. This season will include collaborations with Maxim Vengerov, Misha Maisky, Leonidas Kavakos, Julian Rachlin, Janine Jansens, Fazil Say, Marjana Lipovsek, Bernarda Fink, Vladimir Galuzin.

His discography includes his last double CD release with Virgin Classics/EMI and the Monte Carlo Philharmonic, other recordings include BMG with the London Philharmonic, the world premiere recording of music by Zhukov under CHANDOS with the Residentie Orchestra, works by Rodrigo with the Orquesta Nacional de España STUDIO SM, as well as Liszt’s complete works for piano and orchestra with Louis Lortie and the Residentie Orchestra for CHANDOS, the third instalment of which received special praise by Gramophone Magazine in May 2002.

George Pehlivanian captured international attention in 1991 when he became the first American to win the Grand Prize at the prestigious Besançon Conducting Competition aged 27. Since then, he has consolidated his reputation as one of the most compelling conductors of his generation.

Mr. Pehlivanian was born in Beirut, Lebanon, starting piano and violin lessons at the age of three and six respectively. In 1975, he emigrated to Los Angeles with his family where he subsequently studied conducting with Pierre Boulez, Lorin Maazel and Ferdinand Leitner. At the Academia Chiggiana in Sienna, Italy where he spent two summers, he was awarded the Diploma di Merito. At present, he lives between Los Angeles, Paris and Ljubljana.

George Pehlivanian
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