Today We Celebrate Henrik Karapetyan's Birthday
Born in Yerevan, Armenia in 1981, Henrik Karapetyan started playing the violin at the age of six, enrolling in music classes at Spendiarian Special Music School. In 1997 Karapetyan received full tuition to attend the Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory of Music, where he studied with distinguished Professors Suren Akhnazaryan (violin) and Gayane Akhnazaryan (chamber music). During his studies he was the concertmaster and a frequent soloist with the Conservatory Baroque Orchestra, the first group to introduce stylistically aware musical performances of the Baroque Music in Armenia, under the guidance of Professor Aram Talalyan. The orchestra gave Armenian premiers of works by Bach, Rameau, and other composers of the Baroque era (most notably, “St Matthew’s Passions” by Bach in 2001). In 2000, as a member of the “Serenade” Chamber Orchestra, Karapetyan traveled to perform in Germany, Switzerland, France and Russia on several occasions. In the same year, he was appointed the concertmaster of the Yerevan Festival Orchestra. In 2001, Karapetyan played alongside the members of the celebrated Armenian State Komitas Quartet on several occasions.
In 2002, Karapetyan moved to the United States to pursue his graduate degree at Wayne State University’s Music Department, studying with Professor Movses Pogossian. While at Wayne, he led the orchestra as its concertmaster and was featured as a soloist on many occasions, including as the winner of the 2004 Wayne State Concerto Competition. While at Wayne, Karapetyan was also engaged to play with “Jazz From Schamrock Shore,” a band comprised of faculty members at Wayne State and Bowling Green State universities. In 2007 Karapetyan received full scholarship and teaching appointment to attend doctoral studies at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance, where he studied with Aaron Berofsky and had occasional lessons and coaching with Andrew Jennings, Steven Shipps and Yehonatan Berick. He played in the University Graduate Quartet, was the winner of the 2008-2009 Tuesday Musicale Series and in February 2009 was among the few musicians representing the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance in the annual Conservatory Project at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. While at the University of Michigan, Karapetyan carried through an extensive research on Medieval Armenian Religious Music and its potential for modern composers, collaborating with several noted composers and musicologists. This finally became the topic of his first Dissertation Recital, the later two featuring the complete violin-continuo works of G. F. Handel and the complete violin-piano sonatas of Paul Hindemith.
While pursuing his studies, Karapetyan was actively involved in the community as a performer, lecturer and teacher. He held the concertmaster’s positions in Plymouth (Plymouth, MI) and International (Port Huron, MI) orchestras, acting as guest-concertmaster in Dearborn (Dearborn, MI) and Livonia (Livonia, MI) orchestras. He also performed with the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings and Ann Arbor Symphony orchestras. In 2003, while still in school, he won a contracted position with the Michigan Opera Orchestra and has been performing with the group since. In 2006, Karapetyan released his debut CD of Violin-Piano miniatures (with Yevgenia Lavrovskaya on piano). Among other venues, Karapetyan has performed in Carnegie Hall, NY; Kennedy Center, Washington DC; Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, and Armenian State Philharmonic Hall, Yerevan, Armenia. He is currently the violinist of the Amethyst Piano Trio, based in Ann Arbor, and plays with a local folk-gypsy band “Orpheum Bell.”
As a teacher, Karapetyan has consistently maintained a full studio and taught throughout his three years at the University of Michigan as a Graduate Student Instructor. His students have been admitted to music programs at the University of Michigan, Wayne State University and Michigan State University among others. He also worked several years at the Detroit Civic Orchestra as a mentor, playing with the group and supervising/helping the younger members of the orchestra. As a lecturer and educator, Karapetyan performs nearly two hundred programs annually in libraries, retirement homes and schools across Midwest.
Karapetyan now lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan where he is currently working on several research and performance projects.