The Glenn Gould Foundation is pleased to invite you to our spectacular
featuring one of the greatest stars of opera today
and an exceptional young pianist just on the brink of stardom.
Metropolitan Opera soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian, celebrated for her beauty, presence and style in addition to her strikingly multihued voice, returns to her hometown for this very special, one-night-only engagement, accompanied by her husband, pianist Serouj Kradjian.
16-year-old piano sensation Anastasia Rizikov has just returned from her unprecedented success at the Jaén Competition in Spain, where she took home four prizes including the First Prize Medal, gaining the distinction of being the first Canadian and youngest ever winner of the prize.
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At age seven, Canadian pianist Anastasia Rizikov made her orchestral debut with the National Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, conducted by Mykola Diadiura. By the age of 16, she had an honor to collaborate with more than 30 orchestras including Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, Orchestra London Canada, Baleares Symphony Orchestra and Michigan Philharmonic, just to name a few. Bernhard Gueller, Shalom Bard, Nurhan Arman, Alain Trudel, Boris Brott, Nan Washburn and Salvador Brotons are among the conductors Anastasia had an honor to work with. This year she has performed one of the most technically challenging piano concertos – Rachmaninoff No. 3 in D minor with Laval Symphony Orchestra in Quebec. She is yearly performing numerous solo concerts and orchestral works in major US and Canadian cities.
Anastasia won first place in all the following international competitions: the 57th Jaén International Piano Competition (for pianists ages 32 and under) in Jaén, Spain (April, 2015); the 13th «Giuliano Pecar» International Prize for Piano Interpretation Competition ( “35 and under” age category), in Gorizia, Italy, (November, 2013); the Rotary International Piano Competition (Senior Division up to 28 years old) in Palma de Mallorca, Spain (May, 2011); the Thousand Islands International Piano Competition for Young People (Cape Vincent, USA, 2010); the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition (2009), which lead to a Carnegie Hall debut; and the Vladimir Horowitz International Young Pianists Competition in Ukraine (2006).
She studies with award-winning Master of Music Maia Spis, teacher at the Nadia Music Academy in Toronto. Since age five, Anastasia spends rare moments away from the piano. She loves reading, animals, and treasures her friendships.
Soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian is an eagerly anticipated visitor to opera houses and concert halls the world over. She’s become as celebrated for her beauty, presence, and style as for a strikingly multihued voice that’s wholly in sync with the rest of her.
A winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 1997—the same year she graduated from the University of Toronto cum laude with a Biomedical Engineering Degree—Ms. Bayrakdarian thereafter found her career taking rapid wing. In 1999 she scored a notable success in the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s world premiere production of William Bolcom’s A View from the Bridge; the following year, she walked away from Plácido Domingo’s prestigious Operalia competition with first prize. She launched 2002 with her San Francisco Opera debut, as Valencienne in The Merry Widow, and closed it with her Metropolitan Opera debut, in the New York premiere of Bolcom’s opera; a season later, she won plaudits (and hearts) as Teresa in the Met premiere of Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini. Mozart became a specialty: Zerlina in Don Giovanni (New York, Houston, Salzburg), Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro (Los Angeles, London), and Pamina in The Magic Flute (New York, Toronto). “How any man could not relent before the beautiful Isabel Bayrakdarian’s ardent Pamina was a mystery,” marveled the New York Times after her first Met Flute. But almost from the start, she’s refused to be hemmed in to a particular period or style. Her roles at Toronto’s Canadian Opera Company, range from Gluck’s Euridice to Debussy’s Mélisande to Poulenc’s Blanche in Dialogues des Carmélites; and away from home she’s shone as Monteverdi’s Poppea in Barcelona, Handel’s Romilda (Serse) in Dresden, and Janáček’s Vixen in New York, Florence, and the Saito Kinen Festival in Matsumoto, Japan.
But opera is only one page of the Bayrakdarian résumé. An ever-active concertizer, she’s appeared with the premier orchestras of New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, RAI Torino, Paris, London, Vienna, Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal under the baton of such eminent conductors as Seiji Ozawa, James Conlon, David Zinman, Michael Tilson Thomas, Alan Gilbert, Nicholas McGegan, Christoph von Dohnányi, Christoph Eschenbach, Colin Davis, Sir Andrew Davis, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Mariss Jansons, Leonard Slatkin, James Levine, Anne Manson, Bramwell Tovey, Peter Oundjian and Richard Bradshaw.
Her versatility is also reflected in being the featured vocalist on the Grammy-award winning soundtrack of the blockbuster film The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers, and on the soundtrack of Atom Egoyan's Ararat; a trance music collaboration with electronica band “Delerium”, which garnered yet another Grammy nomination, the BBC-produced short film HOLOCAUST - A Music Memorial Film from Auschwitz, which generated close to a million views on Youtube, and her Gemini-nominated film Long Journey Home documenting her first visit to her homeland Armenia. Additional interesting forays include her very successful tango album and project, Tango Notturno, a recording of Armenian medieval sacred music, Joyous Light, and her recording of Seven Spanish Songs with the composer, Manuel de Falla “accompanying” her on the piano, made possible by Zenph Sound Innovations Inc.
Bayrakdarian is the winner of four consecutive Juno Awards for Best Classical Album (Vocal)— for Azulão, a deft selection of Spanish, Brazilian, and Argentine songs, Cleopatra, baroque arias with Tafelmusik, a collection of songs by the great nineteenth-century singer/composer Pauline Viardot Garcia, and Mozart Arie e Duetti. Her latest CD, Troubadour and the Nightingale, was nominated for both a Juno and Western Canada Music award. But her happiest collaborations, personal and professional, have involved the Armenian-Canadian pianist and composer Serouj Kradjian, her frequent accompanist and arranger, and also her husband and the father of their two young children. Their Nonesuch CD Gomidas Songs promoted and popularized the work of Armenian composer Gomidas Vartabed, and earned them a Grammy nomination.
Other recordings with orchestra include Henryk Górecki’s Symphony No. 3 with John Axelrod conducting the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, released on the Sony Classical label, and Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, with Michael Tilson-Thomas conducting the San Francisco Symphony.
Ms Bayrakdarian is the recipient of many awards, including the Marilyn Horne Foundation Award, Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee and the Diamond Jubilee Medals, the Arbor Award from the University of Toronto, the George London Foundation Award, and the Canada Council’s Virginia Parker Prize. She holds an Honorary Doctorate from Wilfrid Laurier University, and an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Conservatory of Music. Ms Bayrakdarian is on the Voice Faculty at University of California -Santa Barbara (UCSB).
Canadian pianist and composer Serouj Kradjian has established himself as a versatile artist whose readiness to break new boundaries and explore different styles has made him an exciting voice on the international music scene. Mr. Kradjian has appeared with the Toronto,Vancouver, Edmonton, Madrid, and Göttingen symphony orchestras, Russian National Orchestra, Armenian Philharmonic, and Thailand Philharmonic. Solo, chamber music recitals, and premières of his compositions have taken Mr. Kradjian from all major cities in Canada and the US to European concert halls and China and Japan.
Serouj Kradjian’s discography includes the acclaimed Transcendental Études and piano concertos of Franz Liszt, and Robert Schumann’s three Sonatas for Violin and Piano (with Ara Malikian). With Isabel Bayrakdarian he recorded songs by Pauline Viardot- Garcia, which brought the two artists international accolades and a 2006 JUNO Award for Classical Album of the Year. With the Amici Chamber Ensemble, of which he is Artistic Director, he has recorded Armenian chamber music and Levant, which won the JUNO for Best Classical Recording in 2013.
Works composed or arranged by Serouj Kradjian have been performed by I Musici de Montréal, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and the Elmer Iseler Singers. His 2008 orchestral arrangements of folk songs by Gomidas, Armenia’s national composer, featured in the Nonesuch release Gomidas Songs, earned him a GRAMMY®-Award nomination. In April 2015, Mr. Kradjian’s new composition Cantata for Living Martyrs, dedicated to the centenary of the Armenian genocide, was premièred by the Fresno Philharmonic and Chorus.
The Glenn Gould would like to acknowledge the generous support of