Sargis Karapetyan, Soloist


Sargis Karapetyan, violinist, Concertmaster, Waltham Philharmonic Orchestra. Mr. Karapetyan is a native of Armenia. He holds a Master’s Degree and an Artist Diploma in Violin Performance from the Komitas State Conservatory in Yerevan, where he was subsequently invited to join the faculty as the head of Pedagogy in the String Department. He was also the Artistic Director of the Ancient Music Ensemble and the concertmaster of the Children’s Opera Theatre of Armenia. Mr. Karapetyan has worked as an assistant concertmaster of the Gelikon Opera Company and the Competition Winners Chamber Orchestra in Moscow, Russia. Mr. Karapetyan has lived in the US since 1996. He has taught at Clark University in Worcester and at the Boston Conservatory Special Program. Mr. Karapetyan has worked with the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Bangor Symphony of ME, Cape Cod Symphony, Cape Cod Opera, Granite State Opera, Granite State Symphony and NH Symphony, Westerly Chorus of RI, Massachusetts Symphony, Symphony New Hampshire and Nigun Ensemble. Mr. Karapetyan is the concertmaster with the Gloriae Dei Cantores Choir and the Orchestra of Orleans, Cape Cod. As a soloist he has performed with his wife, Nune Hakobyan, throughout New England, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Together, along with Andrei Sobchenko (saxophonist), they have also established the Boston NOR Trio, performing in recitals throughout New England. Mr. Karapetyan also teaches full-time at the Instrumental Music School of Carlisle and Concord.



We’re pleased to have you as our violin soloist on March 17th. How old were you when you started playing the violin?

I started playing violin at the age of 7. Coming from three generations of amateur self-taught musicians, my father encouraged me to attend music school, and at the age of 10, it was clear to me that I wanted to pursue a professional musical career.

When you came to the U.S. in 1996, did you find it easy or challenging to find professional musician opportunities here in New England?

As an orchestra violinist I found employment fairly easy by auditioning a few times right after my arrival.  I also started playing solo recitals with my wife that same year.

You, your wife Nune Hakobyan, and Andre Sobchenko formed the NOR Trio. What does NOR stand for, and what pieces do you most enjoy playing together?

NOR is the Armenian word for “new.” We named the trio this way because we are a new and unique ensemble, featuring saxophone in many traditional piano trio pieces, as well as our own arrangements of vocal or orchestral pieces for three instruments.

Tell us about your teaching experiences and how they’ve impacted your work.

I find it important and fulfilling to pass my skills and knowledge as a musician to a new generation. It makes me happy to see them develop in their own ways and build their skills as young musicians, whether or not they advance to the professional level.

On March 17, you’ll be the soloist in Edvard Baghdasaryan’s Rhapsody for Violin and Orchestra, which the WPO is presenting as the East Coast premiere. Tell us about this piece and what it means to you.

The piece was composed in 1958, originally as a rhapsody for violin and piano, but was then rendered for violin and orchestra, carrying the title of “Armenian Rhapsody.” The term “rhapsody” refers to the recitation of epic poetry. I imagine that this piece tells the millennia-long epic of the Armenian people, from ancient times, to modern, filled with heroic moments, as well as lyrical melodies. The piece is energizing, victorious, and is full of hope and love.

You’ve been with the WPO for at least several years now. When did you begin playing with us, and how has your experience been with the orchestra?

I first joined the WPO about 20 years ago, as a concert master. After Michael Korn became the conductor, the orchestra greatly progressed, expanding the repertoire with novelty and rarely performed selections.