8:30 pm


FVG Orchestra




cello (Germany)


Alexey Shor

Cello concerto
in F major

Ludwig van Beethoven

Symphony No.6 “Pastorale”

Sergey Smbatyan

Acclaimed as a cultural leader in his native Armenia and increasingly in demand on the international stage, Sergey Smbatyan is founder, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra. In September 2019 he became Principal Conductor of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra following highly successful tours of Germany, Austria and the United States, including performances at the Berlin Philharmonie, Vienna’s Musikverein and Carnegie Hall.

Music’s power to unite, heal and inspire has driven and sustained Smbatyan since childhood. His mature artistic vision combines lessons learned from the best traditions of Russian music-making and a profound personal commitment to transforming lives through the shared experience of performing and listening. The charismatic conductor’s reputation with fellow musicians and critics alike flows from his technical command, the intensity with which he shapes and communicates musical ideas, the intelligence of his programming, and the spiritual richness and depth of his interpretations.

Sergey Smbatyan was eighteen when he founded the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra in 2006. He has overseen its transformation since from youth ensemble into one of Armenia’s finest professional orchestras. They began 2020 with a landmark European tour, complete with debut appearances at Vienna’s Musikverein, the Berlin Philharmonie, Salzburg’s Großes Festspielhaus, the Barbican Hall in London, Moscow’s Zaryadye Concert Hall, the Gasteig Munich, Stuttgart’s Beethoven Hall and Prague’s Rudolfinum.

Smbatyan’s guest conducting career has flourished in recent seasons, leading to concerts with Sinfonia Varsovia, the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the Dresden Philharmonic, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra and, among others, the Orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin. He returns to the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra during the 2020-21 season for a European tour comprising concerts at Wiesbaden’s Kurhaus and the Vienna Musikverein. His schedule also includes dates with the Malta Philharmonic, Russian National, Jerusalem Symphony and Royal Philharmonic orchestras as part of the 2021 Malta International Music Festival. Smbatyan will conduct the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra on its first UK tour in September 2021, presenting ten concerts at leading venues in company with Maxim Vengerov as soloist

Known for his imaginative programming, Smbatyan is a determined champion of new music and supporter of emerging talent. He is founder and artistic director of four music festivals in Armenia, Artistic Director of the Aram Khachaturian International Competition and, in October 2019, conducted the WTIC World Orchestra in the first ever concert of music composed by artificial intelligence (AI). His repertoire embraces everything from masterworks of the western symphonic literature to compelling scores by Armenian and other Eastern European composers, many of them commissioned by or specially written for him.

Born in Yerevan in 1987, Sergey Smbatyan showed exceptional musical promise as a child. He received his first violin lessons from his grandmother, Tatiana Hayrapetyan, and continued his training at the Komitas State Conservatory of Yerevan, the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory and with Zakhar Bron. He refined his conducting skills while studying for a PhD in fine arts at the Institute of Arts of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences and as a postgraduate student at London’s Royal Academy of Music, where he gained invaluable insights into the conductor’s art from Sir Colin Davis.

Sergey Smbatyan’s list of awards and prizes includes the title of Honoured Artist of the Republic of Armenia, presented by the President of the Republic of Armenia in recognition for his promotion of Armenian music and culture. In 2014 he became the youngest ever worker in the field of the arts and the first Armenian to be appointed Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture.

Claudio Bohórquez


The German-born cellist of Peruvian-Uruguayan descent is one of the most sought-after musicians in his field. As a student of Boris Pergamenschikow, Claudio Bohórquez achieved success at an early age at international competitions such as the Tschaikowsky Youth Competition in Moscow and the Rostropovich Cello Competition in Paris. This culminated in 2000 with three awards at the first International Pablo Casals Competition held under the auspices of the Kronberg Academy: Marta Casals Istomin presented Claudio Bohórquez with first prize, a special award for the best chamber music, and also the use of Casals’ Gofriller cello for a period of two years. He also won first prize at the International Music Competition in Geneva, an achievement that marked the start of his career as a soloist. Meanwhile from 2011 to 2016 he was professor at the Musikhochschule Stuttgart, in September 2016 he was appointed to the Hochschule für Musik "Hanns Eisler" Berlin, where he has been a guest professor since 2003.

Among others, Claudio Bohórquez has performed with almost all German radio orchestras, Staatskapelle Dresden, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Wiener Symphoniker, Orchestre de Paris, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. In Japan, he performed with the NHK Symphony Orchestra and the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. In the US, Claudio Bohórquez gave concerts with the Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Renowned conductors Claudio Bohórquez has worked with include Daniel Barenboim, Christoph Eschenbach, Sir Neville Marriner, Krzysztof Penderecki, Leonard Slatkin, Lothar Zagrosek and David Zinman.

Together with the painter Klaus-Peter Kirchner, Claudio Bohórquez developed the installation project "Raum für Pablo Casals" in homage to this great cellist. He is part of the ECHO-winning album "Four Seasons" (2017) of Daniel Hope, released by Deutsche Grammophon. In July 2018 BerlinClassics has released a new CD with the sonatas of Johannes Brahms and some bonus tracks together with Claudio Bohórquez's duo partner Péter Nagy. The latest release is the CD "Schumann: Poetica", with works such as Schumann's famous Dichterliebe in the version for violoncello and piano.

Claudio Bohórquez plays a G. B. Rogeri violoncello presented to him by the Landeskreditbank Baden-Württemberg.

FVG Orchestra

FVG Orchestra is a recently born symphony orchestra, founded at the behest of the Italian region Friuli Venezia Giulia in order to gather the musical inheritance of the many realities belonging to this border area - rich in musical traditions. Betting against the Italian standard, the foundation of FVG Orchestra represented the choice to invest in the musical values by forming a new orchestra defined to be talented and artistically kind.

Even immediately after its foundation, FVG Orchestra gave concerts in Budapest – in the astounding room which used to be the seat of the Hungarian Parliament, and in many theaters among Friuli Venezia Giulia.

The Principal Guest Conductor is M° Paolo Paroni, already Principal Guest Conductor of the New York City Ballet Orchestra and guest conductor in plenty of Symphonic Institutions in Italy and abroad. The orchestra has also worked with other conductors of the highest repute, aiming to an exponential artistic growth.

While progressively developing in this, FVG Orchestra has regularly hosted many Concertmasters arriving from some of the most prestigious Italian and international realities – such as Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra, Teatro La Scala Orchestra in Milan, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale Rai in Turin, and other symphonic orchestras known for their undiscussed musical quality.

FVG Orchestra is one of the promoters of the rebirth of the longtime Festival Internazionale dell’Operetta in Trieste, century-old seat of the Light Opera genre – attempting to push its tradition even outside the regional borders.

In late 2020, while facing the national closure of theaters due to the pandemic emergency caused by COVID-19, FVG Orchestra has been one of the first institutions in Italy to program and give a short, online-streamed concert season – involving several top-class soloists and conductors in the major theaters of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region.

FVG Orchestra musicians are first-prize winners in both competitions and international prizes and have played with orchestras such as Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Mozart in Bologna, Teatro La Scala Orchestra in Milan, Filarmonica della Scala in Milan, Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale Rai in Turin, Orchestra Haydn in Trento and Bozen, Orchestra dell’Arena di Verona, Orchestra del Teatro Lirico in Cagliari and Orchestra del Teatro Verdi in Trieste.

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