Sergei Babayan

© Marco Borggreve

Hailed for his emotional intensity, bold energy and remarkable subtlety of colouring, Sergei Babayan brings a deep understanding and wealth of experience to a diverse repertoire ranging from Bach to Lutosławski.

Babayan performs with the world's foremost orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lille, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the New World Symphony. Recent highlights include performances with the Rotterdam Philharmonic and Mariinsky Orchestras with Gergiev, and with the Camerata Israel in Tel Aviv. Babayan made his BBC Proms debut in 2015, performing Prokofiev Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 5 with the London Symphony Orchestra and Gergiev.

Babayan has collaborated with such conductors as Yuri Temirkanov, Neeme Järvi, Hans Graf, David Robertson, Tugan Sokhiev and Kazimierz Kord, among others. Since 2006 Babayan has performed with Valery Gergiev on numerous occasions, including at the International Festival “Stars of the White Nights”, the Salzburg Festival, the Moscow Easter Festival, the Barbican with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Mariinsky Theatre, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris and at the Rotterdam Philharmonic-Gergiev Festival, where Babayan was Artist-in-Residence.

Recent and upcoming recital highlights include performances at the Edinburgh International Festival, the Verbier Festival, the Celebrity Series of Boston, Mariinsky Theatre, Bad Kissingen, Lugano Festival and the Klavier-Festival Ruhr, the latter two alongside Martha Argerich. In recent seasons, Babayan’s schedule has included recitals at venues including Salle Gaveau in Paris, Carnegie Hall, Severance Hall in Cleveland, Herkulessaal Munich, Liederhalle Stuttgart, Berlin Konzerthaus, Rudolfinum-Dvorak Hall in Prague, the Mariinsky Theatre and Victoria Hall in Geneva.

Born in Armenia into a musical family, Babayan began his studies with Georgy Saradjev and continued at the Moscow Conservatory with Mikhail Pletnev, Vera Gornostayeva and Lev Naumov. Following his first trip outside the USSR in 1989, he won consecutive first prizes in several major international competitions including the Robert Casadesus International Piano Competition (renamed the Cleveland International Piano Competition), the Hamamatsu Piano Competition, and the Scottish International Piano Competition.