Violin virtuoso Ara Malikian makes Bogotá debut at Teatro Mayor

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The Beirut-born violinist Ara Malikian/Teatro Mayor

With fiery hair, raging strings, and emblazoned virtuosity, the Lebanon-born violinist of Armenian heritage, Ara Malikian, will make his Bogotá debut on May 10 with a super concert at Bogotá’s Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo.

Born in Beirut in 1968 to Armenian parents, Malikian’s prodigious violin playing was discovered in childhood and encouraged by his musician father who performed with legendary Lebanese singer/songwriter Fairuz. Despite facing seemingly insurmountable obstacles learning music in a city ravaged by war, by age 13, Malikian gave his first concert, and two years later, invited to study violin at the High School for Music and Theatre in Hannover, Germany.

The classical-trained violinist was then admitted to London’s prestigious Guildhall School for Music and Drama, and continued his studies with renowned violinists Franco Gulli, Ruggiero Ricci, Ivry Gitlis, Herman Krebbers, and members of the Alban Berg Quartet.

“Malikian is undoubtedly one of the most brilliant and expressive violinists of his generation. In possession of a personal style, forged from his origins and rich musical experience, his artistic voice has emerged as an original and innovative presence on the world and musical scene,” reads a review by Madrid-based Paganini.

In his relentless quest to deliver a universality of sound, Malikian assimilates diverse musical genres in his repertoire that spans continents, from flamenco to tango, gypsy, Arab and Jewish. The classical violinist has also performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras and chamber orchestras, among them, Tokyo Symphony; Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid; Sinfónica de Portugal; Bamberg Symphony Orchestra;  Belgrade Philharmonic; Toulouse Chamber Orchestra; Armenia Philharmonic; Zürich Chamber Orchestra; London Chamber Orchestra, among many others.

Malikian’s First Prize awards listing is equally impressive, beginning at age 19 with the international competition Felix Mendelssohn (1987, Berlin,) followed by Pablo Sarasate (1995, Pamplona), and prizes in Niccolo Paganini (Genoa), Zino Francescatti (Marseille), Rodolfo Lipizer (Gorizia), Jeunesses Musicales (Belgrade), Rameau (Le Mans), International Artists Guild (New York), and International Music Competition of Japan. In 1993, he received the prize for Artistic Devotion and Achievement from the German Ministry of Culture.

With more than 150 concerts to his name and enchanting audiences in more than 40 countries, Ara Malikian will present works from his bestselling albums The Incredible History of Violin and Royal Garage. In 2017, Malikian released an album of his live concert at Las Ventas stadium in Madrid.

In his latest release Petit Garage, the 52-year-old ambassador of the instrument immortalized by Stradivarius pays homage to this childhood hiding place in Beirut. “We would hear the bombs, it was a very dramatic situation and suddenly some of us started to make music, others to sing, everyone dancing,” he recalled in a recent interview with AFP. “I saw how music and art changed people’s mood, gave them hope, joy. We forgot all our sorrows, the war, and the bombs.”

The renowned violinist currently resides in Madrid and his one-night performance at Teatro Mayor is a highlight of the theatre’s 2022 Spain Guest Nation of Honor program.

Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo / Calle 170 No.67-51.

May 10, 2022. Concert starts 8:00pm. Tickets available at: www.teatromayor.org