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Karine Georgian (Cello)

Born: January 5, 1944 - Moscow, Russia

The Russian cellist, Karine Georgian, was born into a family of musicians, and began her cello studies at the age of 5 under her father, Armen Georgian (1949-1961). She studied at the Gnessin School in Moscow from 1950 to 1961, and at the Moscow Conservatoire with Mstislav Rostropovich. She won 1st Prize at All Union Music Competition in 1966, and First Prize and Gold Medal at the Third Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow in 1966.

After winning those two competitions, Karine Georgian launched an international career that has spanned all the countries of the former Soviet Union, Eastern and Western Europe, the Far East and the USA. She made her American debut at Carnegie Hall in New York in 1969, with the American première of Khachaturian's Cello Rhapsody with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by the composer (her recording with the composer and the Moscow Bolshoi Radio Symphony Orchestra has recently been reissued by Melodiya/BMG Classics). She returned to Carnegie Hall in 1970 with a recital, appeared in Prague in 1970, played with the Berliner Philharmoniker in 1970, the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra in 1973, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1982, the Henry Wood Promenade Concerts in 1985, and with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1990.

Today, Karine Georgian is a seasoned performer with a vast experience of concert platforms across the world, having appeared with many of the leading orchestras and conductors of our time. Her repertoire encompasses more than forty concertos and a huge range of instrumental and chamber music. She has been associated with many leading composers of our day, many of whom have worked with her and written works for her. These include Alfred Schnittke (of whose First Cello Concerto she gave the USA première in Carnegie Hall in 1989), Edison Denisov, Tigran Mansurian, Krzysztof Penderecki, Alexander Goehr, Dmitri Smirnov (Cello Concerto, premièred with the BBC Philharmonic under Yan Pascal Tortelier in 1996), Howard Skempton, and Elena Firsova (Chamber Concerto No. 5). In 1994 she made her first visit to Australia to give the Australian premiere of Benjamin Britten's Cello Symphony, returning there for a further tour last summer. Among last season's more enjoyable engagements were a major UK tour with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra under Yuri Simonov, and a gala concert celebrating the Festival of the August Moon televised live from the Forbidden Palace in Beijing.

In 1980 Karine Georgian settled in London and in 1984 succeeded André Navarra as Professor of Cello at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Detmold in Germany. Much in demand as a teacher, in addition to the Detmold position she has recently taken up an appointment at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. She has given master-classes in England, Italy, Germany, Japan and Austria, and annually since 1989 (except for 1998) has taught and played at Dartington.

Karine Georgian's acclaimed recordings have been released on the Melodiya, Chandos, Hyperion, Carlton Classics, Biddulph, Warehouse and SOMM labels. Among them: Johannes Brahms: Trio in B with Dmitri Alexeev and Liana Isakadze (Melodiya); Edison Denisov: Concerto in C with Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra under Dmitri Kitayenko (Melodiya); Aram Khachaturian: Cello Rhapsody with Bolshoi Radio Symphony Orchestra under the composer (Melodiya); Sonatas by Dmitri Shostakovich and Pietro Antonio Locatelli with Aza Amintayeva (Melodiya); François Couperin: Music for 2 Cellos with Natalia Gutman (Melodiya); Johannes Brahms: Trio in A minor with Thea King and Clifford Benson (Hyperion).

Karine Georgian married Anthony Philips on December 15, 1990.

"... a musical mind that is passionate, inventive, spontaneous, yet carefully reasoned and serenely assured." - Boston Globe

Source: Karine Georgian Website; International Who's Who in Music & Musicians' Directory (13th Edition, 1992/93)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (August 2009)

Karine Georgian: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

Karine Georgian (Official Website)
Karine Georgian - cello (International Directory of Musicians)
Karine Georgian (

Conversation with Karine Georgian (
Cello: Karine Georgian (NY Times) [1988]

Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
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