Anoush Tchakarian started playing the piano at the age of four, and at the age of five, she was accepted in the first of its kind class for gifted children at the Music School "Lubomir Pipkov" in Sofia, Bulgaria. In 1997, Anoush graduated with excellence in Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy from the class of Vera Mitcheva. Shortly thereafter, she successfully obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Piano Performance at the National Music Conservatory "Pancho Vladigerov" in Sofia, where she worked with Professor Marina Kapatsinskaya. During these years, Anoush participated in several national and international festivals in Bulgaria, England, and Finland as a soloist, as well as with different chamber music ensembles. She also participated in numerous national and international master classes coached by outstanding pianists such as Professor Boris Bloch, Professor Marco Tezza, and Professor Bruce Voght. Anoush is a laureate from various national competitions with Second Prize from the 1997 National Competition for German and Austrian Music and the Special Prize of His Excellency the German Ambassador in Bulgaria for best performance of Schubert's Piano Variations in F Major, D. 156.

She was a soloist for the National Music Conservatory Orchestra in 2001 in Sofia and soloist for the Duquesne Symphony Orchestra in Pittsburgh in 2004 as the winner of the Concerto Competition. In 2001, she performed at the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, Finland, featuring Mendelssohn's 
Piano Sextet, op. 110 and Hindemith's Quartet for Clarinet, Violin, Cello, and Piano. In 2004, Anoush graduated the Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne University with a Master's Degree in Piano Performance, and in 2006, she obtained an Artist Diploma in the piano class of Professor Kenneth Burky. She performed numerous solo recitals and participated in charity concerts with a vast and various piano and harpsichord repertoire. Moreover, Anoush has made various recordings for the Bulgarian National Radio, the Bulgarian National Television, and WQED Multimedia, Pittsburgh, and she is a member of the National Music Honor Society, Pi Kappa Lambda. In February of 2006, Anoush won the Western Pennsylvania Steinway Society Piano Competition. In 2013, she won the Award of Excellence for her performance of Ravel's Ondine from Gaspard de la Nuit in the Global Music Awards Competition, La Jolla, California. In April of 2018, Anoush Tchakarian and James Burns were among selected winners of the Pittsburgh Concert Society Competition. Their piano duo laureate recital took place in September at Kresge Hall, Carnegie Mellon University as part of the Pittsburgh Concert Series.

Currently, Anoush is an adjunct professor of piano and Interim Coordinator of Keyboard Studies/Organ Music at the Mary Pappert School of Music, and she is a member of the piano faculty at City Music Center, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Komitas is considered the founder of the Armenian National School of Music. He was born Soghomon Soghomonian, ordained as a priest and commonly known as Komitas. He was a musicologist, composer, arranger, singer, choirmaster, who traveled throughout historical Armenia, collecting folk melodies and songs (he collected over 2000 songs). He is recognized as one of the first pioneers of ethnomusicology. Following his ordination Komitas studied music at the Frederic Williams University in Berlin, where he learned the concepts of traditional music composition. In 1906 while staying in Paris, he wrote Six Dances for Piano based on various folk melodies originating from different parts of

historical Armenia.  

On April 24, 1915, in Constantinople, Komitas was arrested alongside numerous Armenian intellectuals, notables, and businessmen as part of the Young Turks government policy to exterminate the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire. He was deported to Central Anatolia with thousands of other Armenian citizens. Thanks to his good friends the Turkish poet Yardakul and the writer Edip who intervened with the government, Komitas was dispatched back to the capital. During the ordeal and from the horrors and massacres he witnessed, he suffered a traumatic neurosis which led to his complete mental breakdown. He was transferred to a hospital in Constantinople in 1916, and at a later point to a psychiatric clinic in Villejuif, France where he later died.

INBAL MEGIDDO (Cello) and JIAN LIU (Piano)

Dr. Inbal Megiddo
has performed as soloist with many of the great orchestras and in major concert halls around the world, including recitals in the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, with the Berlin Symphony at the Philharmonie and a recital at the Staatsoper. At her New York debut at the Lincoln Center her playing was hailed by the press as having “magical expression and technical expertise.” Recent releases include a recording of the complete Bach Cello Suites and Debussy's Sonatas and Trio, which were nominated for Best Classical Album in the NZ Music Awards. She gave the NZ premieres of the Weinberg, Villa Lobos, and Barber Cello Concertos, with her playing described as “Superb!...Virtuosic, brilliant and powerful”. Other recent highlights include performances with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Ukraine Philharmonic, Lithuanian Philharmonic, collaborations with preeminent conductors including Daniel Barenboim, Shlomo Mintz, and Lior Shambadal, and concert tours throughout Europe, North America, and Asia. Dr. Megiddo is Associate Professor in Cello at the New Zealand School of Music, and has held faculty positions at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Yale University. She has been guest artist at festivals such as the International Cello Congress, Beijing International Chamber Music Festival and Melbourne Cello Festival. She has given masterclasses at institutions around the world, including many of the major music schools in North America, Europe, Israel, and Australasia. Ms. Megiddo recently completed a doctoral thesis on the teaching methods of the legendary Aldo Parisot, and is founder and director of the Cellophonia International Festival in Wellington.

Dr. Jian Liu
was born in China and educated in China and the USA, Dr. Jian Liu is an internationally celebrated concert pianist, chamber musician, and educator, and has performed and taught throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. His artistry has taken him to some of the world’s most prestigious concert halls, including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. He has also recorded many CDs, one of which, Debussy Sonatas and Piano Trio, has been nominated as Best Classical Artist in the New Zealand Music Awards. His performances have been broadcast by various TV and radio stations including KPHO public radio (USA), CCTV (China), Suisse Romande Radio (Switzerland), Krakow Radio (Poland), Kan Radio (Israel) and Radio New Zealand. Dr. Liu is currently the Programme Director of Classical Performance and Head of Piano Studies at New Zealand School of Music. Dr. Liu holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Yale School of Music, where he was a student and assistant of Professor Claude Frank.

A Short Bio

Georgia Paivanas was born in Corinth, Greece in 1989. At the age of four, she started classical violin lessons. She completed her studies by obtaining a diploma in violin in 2012 from the Hellenic Conservatory of Northern Suburbs with a grade of “Very Good” in the class of Al. Mato. She also holds a diploma in Byzantine music with a grade of “Excellent” and a First Prize. Along with music, she also studied at the TEI of Athens, where in 2012 she was sworn in as an Electronic Engineer. In 2014, she completed her postgraduate studies with a specialization in Artificial Neural Networks and their applications, while in March 2022 she was awarded a Doctorate by the Department of Biotechnology of the Agricultural University of Athens. For a number of years, she was a member of the Hellenic Conservatory Orchestra, participating in performances in the Athens Concert Hall ("A child counts the stars", "Physis Gaia - Vicky Leandros sings for the earth, Abir Nehme participates", music by Giorgos Voukanos, director of musical instruments: Giorgos Aravidis). In 2005, she participated in the H.O.N (Youth Choir and Orchestra) competition, where she was awarded First Prize in the competition and a Gold Medal in the Orchestras category, as well as in 2006 with First Prize and a Gold Medal in the Violin - Duet category. She was a founding member of the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra of Athens, as well as a co-creator and founding member of the Baroque Project Orchestra. She was a Professor of classical violin and a Professor of Byzantine music at many conservatories including the Hellenic Conservatory of Northern Suburbs (Athens), the Contemporary Corinthian Conservatory, the Madrigal Music School (Corinth), and others. She lives with her husband in Prague and works as a Test and Validation Engineer at Valeo.

Nikolaos Paivanas was born in Corinth, Greece. From the age of six he was taught the violin and completed his studies at the Hellenic Conservatory where he graduated with an Honors degree. At the same time, he also completed his studies in Byzantine Music at the Hellenic Conservatory with the unanimous committee of assessors’ grade of “Excellent” as well as the distinction of Second Prize. He also holds a degree in Harmony, Counterpoint and Fugue with a grade of “Excellent”. In 2005 he won the Panhellenic H.O.N (UNESCO) First Prize in the "Violin Duets" category and also the First Prize in the "Ecclesiastical Byzantine Music" category. In recent years, he composes melodies for historical events such as "The Holocaust of Greek-Jews", the Epic of 1821, the Asia Minor disaster, among other notable projects. Finally, he is a graduate of the Mathematics Department of the National Kapodistrian University and holds a master's degree in Banking, Accounting and Finance from the Hellenic Open University.

Ioannis Paivanas is a musician who resides in Athens, Grrece. He earned a Diploma in the area of violin from the Hellenic Conservatory with a grade of “Excellent”, a First Prize and a Silver Medal. He earned a Diploma in Byzantine Music from the same Conservatory with a grade of “Excellent. He competed in the violin solo category of the Youth Orchestra and Choir competition and earned a grade of “Excellent”, the First Prize, and the Gold Medal. He participated in the master class of Julian Rachlin and the Diaghilev Festival in Perm, Russia, hosted by Theodore Currentzis. In 2009-2010 he played first violin in the Athens Chamber Orchestra of the Greek Opera House. Between 2011-2012, he was guest violinist in the Orchestra of Colours. Between 2008-2012 he was a rotation violinist in the Simfonietta Athens Orchestra. Between 2014-2016 he served as the first violin in the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra of Athens, while in 2015 he was a founding member and concertmaster of the Baroque Project Orchestra in Athens. In 2019, he was the second violin on a temporary basis in the Athens Philharmonic Orchestra. Currently, he is Teacher of Violin as well as a Teacher of Byzantine Music at the Hellenic Conservatory of Athens, and a teacher of chant and singing for the “Ergastiri Psaltikis” Byzantine Music Choir, in Athens, Greece.

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