"captivating, occasionally controversial, and always expressive" - Fanfare
Hailed 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, chamber musician and recording artist. In addition to performing throughout the former Soviet Union, he has toured worldwide earning enthusiastic praise in both traditional and contemporary repertoire.
Mr. Bagratuni is Professor of Cello at Michigan State University where he maintains a very busy teaching schedule, and serves as co-chair of String area. He is also the Artistic Director of the annual Cello Plus Festival, called "one of the premiere classical happenings."
Professor Bagratuni has presented master classes throughout Europe, South America, the Far East, South Africa, Armenia, Canada and at numerous schools in the U.S. including the New England Conservatory, Peabody Conservatory and the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Born in Yerevan, Armenia, Mr. Bagratuni began his musical education there at the age of seven, studying with renowned professor Zareh Sarkisyan. He began performing at age ten, by age fourteen appeared as a concerto soloist, and by age 17 was a winner of National and International competitions. He continued his studies at the Moscow Conservatory where he was tutored by professor Natalia Shakhovskaya and taking private lessons from legendary Daniel Shafran. In 1988, he won first prize in the Vittorio Gui International Competition in Italy. In the United States Mr. Bagratuni was awarded the Artist Diploma of the New England Conservatory of Music, studying with professor Laurence Lesser.
Suren Bagratuni won critical acclaim for his first CD release on the Ongaku label, featuring works for solo cello. Fanfare called his Ongaku recording of the sonatas by Prokofiev and Shostakovich with pianist Adrian Oetiker "impressively bold accounts". His recording with Mr. Oetiker was released on the BGR (Blue Griffin Recordings) label and includes sonatas by Debussy and Rachmaninoff, along with Stravinsky's "Suite Italienne." His BGR release is of the Bach Cello Suites, described in Fanfare as "captivating, occasionally controversial, and always expressive" is undergoing its second print due to high popularity and his latest recording of “Complete Beethoven works for cello and piano” received very positive reviews, and also is in high demand. Mr. Bagratuni’s discography consists of 16 CD and LP recordings, and the latest, “Music of Armenia” includes 5 World premiere and an American premiere recordings. Mr. Bagratuni also appears 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 Centaur, Melodiya, Marco Polo, and has been featured on CBC Radio Canada, the Bayerischer Rundfunk in Germany, and WNYC in New York, NPR, and WGBH Radio in Boston.