Learn More About Suren Bagratuni!


Cellist Suren Bagratuni will be featured alongside violinist Ruggero Allifranchini in Tigran Mansurian’s Concerto for Violin and Cello in our first concert of the season, Surviving and Thriving.  Join us at 8pm on Saturday, October 31st at the First Baptist Church in Newton. 


Suren BagratuniHailed as “a cellist of uncommon attainments” by the Boston Globe, Suren Bagratuni was winner of the Silver Medal at the 1986 Tchaikovsky Competition while still a student at the Moscow Conservatory. He has gone on to a distinguished international career as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. Performing on six continents, Mr. Bagratuni has toured Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, South and North America, earning enthusiastic praise in both traditional and contemporary repertoire.

As soloist Mr. Bagratuni has performed with all the major orchestras in the former Soviet Union, including the Moscow Philharmonic under the direction of Valery Gergiev, and has also appeared with the Boston Pops, L’Orchestre Jeune Philharmonie in Paris, the Armenian Philharmonic, the Weimar Staatskapelle, the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, the Thüringen Philharmonic of Suhl, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Halle in Berlin, and the symphony orchestras of Chile, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic. He was the guest soloist for the U.S. tour of the National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia, opening the tour with a performance in Alice Tully Hall, and presented a world premiere with that orchestra in Yerevan. Recent tours of South Africa included concerto appearances with the Capetown Philharmonic Orchestra and the Kwazulu-Natal Philharmonic in Durban. He made his Korean debut with the orchestra of Daegu, and returned to perform with the DMZ Festival Orchestra and the Daejeon Philharmonic. Most recently he performed at the Cartagena Festival in Colombia with the City of London Sinfonia, with the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. In 2016 he returns to the Hungarian National Philharmonic to open their season. Elsewhere in the U.S. Mr. Bagratuni has appeared with dozens of orchestras, including the Duluth- Superior Symphony and the Traverse Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Kevin Rhodes.

Recital and chamber music appearances have included guest invitations with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Newport Music Festival, Washington’s Phillips Collection, Detroit’s Pro Musica series, the “Premiere Performances” series in St. Louis and international festivals in Latin America, Europe, South Africa, and Asia.

Suren Bagratuni won critical acclaim for his first CD release on the Ongaku label, featuring works for solo cello. Fanfare called that recording of the sonatas by Prokofiev and Shostakovich with pianist Adrian Oetiker “impressively bold accounts.” His release of the Beethoven Cello Sonatas with Ralph Votapek was described in the BBC Music Magazine as “deft to every Beethovian nuance” and his BGR recording of the Bach Cello Suites was described in Fanfare as “captivating, occasionally controversial, and always expressive.” He can also be heard on a recording of Trios by Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, and Rachmaninoff with the Moscow Conservatory Trio on the CMH label. Mr. Bagratuni has recorded for Melodiya, Marco Polo, and has been featured on CBC Radio Canada, the Bayerischer Rundfunk in Germany, WNYC in New York, NPR, and WGBH Radio in Boston.

In addition to his solo activities, Mr. Bagratuni is a member of the Nobilis Trio with pianist Stephen Prutsman and violinist Ruggero Allifranchini. Of this ensemble, L’impartial of Switzerland said, “they have a powerful impetus which they express through their individual mastery.” Suren Bagratuni is Distinguished Professor of Cello at Michigan State University where he serves as Artistic Director of the annual Cello Plus Festival, called “one of the premiere classical happenings.”

Born in Yerevan, Armenia, Mr. Bagratuni began his musical education there at the age of seven. He began performing at age ten, and by age fourteen appeared as a concerto soloist. He continued his studies at the Moscow Conservatory where he was tutored by professor Natalia Shakhovskaya. In the United States Mr. Bagratuni was awarded the Artist Diploma by the New England Conservatory of Music under the direction of professor Laurence Lesser.