French-American conductor, born in Beirut, into a musical family. George Pehlivanian's path in music began with piano and violin lessons at the age of three and six respectively. In 1975, Pehilvanian and his family emigrated to Los Angeles and went on to study conducting with Pierre Boulez, Lorin Maazel and Ferdinand Leitner. He also spent two summers at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena where he was awarded the Diploma di Merito.
In 1991 Mr. Pehlivanian was crowned unanimously by the International Jury, with the Grand Prize of the Besançon International Conducting Competition. Till today, Pehlivanian remains the First and ONLY American to receive this honor in the long history of one of the most respected and prestigious competitions in the world of conducting for the past seven decades.
Since then he has conducted many of the world’s leading orchestras, including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Philharmonia, Israel Philharmonic, Filarmonica della Scala, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, NDR Hamburg, Orchestra dell’Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Czech Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, BBC Philharmonic, Bamberger Symphoniker, the Norddeutsche, Hessische and Südwetsdeutsche Runfunk Symphony Orchestras, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Monte-Carlo Philharmonic, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, National Orchestra of Belgium, Orchestra Nazionale della RAI Torino, Teatro San Carlo di Napoli, Teatro Massimo di Palermo, Bournemouth Symphony, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Orquesta Nacional de España, Orquesta Radio Television de España, the Opera and Symphony Orchestras of Valencia, Royal Scottish National Orchestra among many others...
In North America he has conducted the Baltimore, Houston, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, St. Paul, Rochester, Buffalo, Pacific, Honolulu, Puerto Rico as well as all the major Canadian Orchestras including the Orchestras of Montreal, Toronoto, Vancouver and Ottawa.
Elsewhere, he has worked with the Russian National Orchestra, Mariinsky Theatre, Moscow Philharmonic, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane Orchestras, Japan Virtuoso Symphony, the Malaysian , Hong Kong , Qatar and Shanghai Phiharmonic Orchestras, and a historical invitation as the first Armenian origin artist to lead the Turkish Presidential Symphony Orchestra in Ankara.
Former Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra in Ljubljana and Principal Guest Conductor of various orchestra such as: The Residentie Orkest of The Hague, the Wiener Kammerorchester, the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie RheinlandPfalz , Teatro Lirico di Cagliari and the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestras.
Very much at home in the Opera world as the Symphonic one, Mr. Pehlivanian is regularly invited to lead productions in prestigious opera houses around the world. He has lead critically aclaimed performances of titles such as Boris Godunov, Pique Dame, Jenufa, Otello, Tosca, La Traviata, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Ernani, Cavalleria Rusticana, Gianni Schicchi , La Voix Humaine, La Damnation de Faust, Andrea Chénier, World Premieres of Marco Betta's new Opera, Sette Storie per Lasciare il Mondo and Thilloy's Hamlet, based on the text of Bernard-Marie Koltes, Netherlands Premiere of Vaughan William's 'Riders to the Sea'.
Mr. Pehlivanian's numerous invitations have taken him to some of the most prestigious opera houses in the world such as: the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, Cité de la Musique of Paris, New Israeli Opera of Tel Aviv, Teatro San Carlo di Napoli, Teatro Massimo di Palermo, Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, Bari, Trieste, Ópera National de Bordeaux, among many others...
His name appears on the posters of the most important festivals: Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, White Nights of Saint Petersburg, Verdi di Parma, Rávena, Aspen, Ravello, Mito Milan, San Sebastien, Santander, Granada, El Escorial, Lugano,Cannes Midem, Bruckner of Linz, Ljubljana, Osaka, Kyoto, etc.
In 2011 George Pehlivanian founded the Touquet International Music Masters in France, a unique festival assembling the National Youth Orchestras of Europe. Since 2012 he is Professor at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris (CNSMDP) and in 2013 he successfully created a unique international postgraduate program for professionals who desire to develop their conducting skills and improve their careers, at the Katarina Gurska conservatory in Madrid.
George Pehlivanian & Liebrecht Vanbeckevoort (piano)
Koningin Elisabeth-laureaat Liebrecht Vanbeckevoort soleert in het derde pianoconcerto van Rachmaninoff, een kunststukje dat alleen voor de besten is weggelegd.