Sergey Smbatyan


Armenian conductor Sergey Smbatyan is the Founding Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra and the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra.

Smbatyan has presented the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra and Malta Philharmonic Orchestra throughout Europe, Russia and United States. Performances include Vienna’s Musikverein, Berlin Philharmonie, Salzburg’s Großes Festspielhaus, London’s Barbican Centre, Gasteig Munich, Rudolfinum in Prague, Grand Hall of the Moscow State Conservatory and New York’s Carnegie Hall where he made his debut at the age of 28.

Born in Yerevan, Smbatyan was first introduced to music by his grandmother, violinist and teacher Tatyana Hayrapetyan, who gave him violin lessons from an early age. He later studied at the Komitas State Conservatory of Yerevan and the Moscow P.I. Tchaikovsky Conservatory, with Bagrat Vardanyan and Zakhar Bron. Whilst studying for a PhD in Fine Arts in Yerevan with Yuri Davtyan, Smbatyan developed his passion and conducting skills working with the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra which he founded aged 18. 

A winner of multiple European conducting and violin competitions, Smbatyan has developed an international reputation that includes guest conducting engagements at the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic, Sinfonia Varsovia, and many others.

Smbatyan’s championing and commissioning living composers, promoting cultural heritage, and developing new audiences are central to his artistic life and are reflected in his work as the Founder and Artistic Director of the Armenian Composing Art Festival; the Penderecki Contemporary Classics’ Festival; the “Armenia” International Music Festival; the Khachaturian International Festival.

Smbatyan deeply believes that only culture can shape our future and unite everyone by spreading harmony and peace. This is the main message conveyed in the orchestras he has founded: 24/04 World Orchestra, the “Generation of Independence” All-Armenian Choir and Orchestra and Pan-Armenian Symphony Orchestra. Smbatyan’s passionate advocacy for increasing the level of cultural education and social responsibility among young people was fulfilled by founding the UNICEF Children’s Chamber Orchestra and DasA, an innovative high school-based project that offers students hands-on experience of making classical music.
The 2022-23 highlight included touring with the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra and the Roumanian National Philharmonic Orchestra in the United Kingdom in a series of venues including Cadogan Hall, London; Usher Hall, Edinburgh; Bridgewater Hall, Manchester; Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham.

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