Winner of the silver medal at the 1986 International Tchaikovsky Competition while still a student at the Moscow Conservatory, Bagratuni has gone on to a distinguished international career as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. In addition to performing throughout the former Soviet Union, he has toured worldwide, earning enthusiastic praise in both traditional and contemporary repertoire.
Born in Yerevan, Armenia, he began his musical education there at the age of seven. After winning several national and international competitions, he continued his studies at the Moscow Conservatory and later in the United States at the New England Conservatory of Music.
Bagratuni began performing at age ten, and by age fourteen appeared as a concerto soloist performing Saint-Saens’ Concerto with the Armenian State Radio Orchestra. Since then he 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 numerous orchestras in Europe, Asia, and North and South America.
His solo appearances include recitals in the major concert halls of the world. Chamber music appearances have included guest invitations with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Newport Music Festival, the “Russian Winter” Festival in Moscow, the El Paso Pro Musica International Festival, Bargemusic, and international festivals in Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, Korea, China, and Taiwan.
Bagratuni has won critical acclaim for his CD releases on the Ongaku and BGR labels, featuring solo works for cello, solo suites by Bach, and sonatas by Beethoven, Debussy, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, and Shostakovich. He also appears on the Marco Polo, Russian Disc, Cambria, and CMH labels. He has recorded for “Melodiya” and been featured on CBC Radio Canada, WNYC in New York, WGBH in Boston, NPR, and NHK TV Japan.
In addition to his solo activities, he performs as a member of Trio Nobilis, serves as artistic director of the Cello Plus music festival, and conducts master classes worldwide. A former faculty member of the New England Conservatory and the University of Illinois, Bagratuni is currently Artist-Teacher and Professor of Cello at the Michigan State University College of Music.