It has been an exciting and intense fall season for Raffi Besalyan so far! His travels have taken him to Japan where once again he adjudicated the Osaka International Music Competition, taught master classes, performed for the Charity Concert of the competition in addition to his recital in Osaka’s Abeno Kumin Center. Other highlights include a solo recital at historic Cherry Hill Estate in North Carolina, and a solo recital and a master class for Baylor University’s prestigious Lyceum Series in Waco, Texas. On November 11, Raffi will perform a chamber music recital along with his violin colleague Christos Galilaias for Georgia State University’s International Week at Kopleff Recital Hall in Atlanta, and on November 19, Besalyan will lead a master class for the talented young pianists of the William Pu Music Academy in Alpharetta, GA.
Another wonderful review of “The Return” from MusicWeb International: “Besalyan is an artist who does justice to each of these Rachmaninov works, and the unfamiliar Babajanian morsels are an appetising addition to an appealing release.”
“Besalyan is an idiomatic Rachmaninov player…”
“The lyricism of the E flat Op.23 No.6 brings out the poetic side to his playing…”
“In the C minor he nails the stormy mood of the swirling figuration from the start through to an emphatic close.”
“The evanescent whimsy of the G major is exquisitely captured, with perhaps the most alluring playing on the disc.”
“The group of four Études-Tableaux has equally successful playing, not least in the big E flat minor that Sviatoslav Richter once said he did not play as it made him feel naked. There is plenty of naked emotion in Besalyan’s passionate account.”
To read the entire review click here.
Raffi Besalyan will be performing and teaching master classes at Cap Ferret International Music Festival in France from July 8-15, 2016. For more details click here.
Here is an awesome review of Raffi Besalyan’s performance of Beethoven’s 4th Piano Concerto with the FVSO by James Chaudoir, for USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin on postcrescent.com:
“The soloist for this performance was Raffi Besalyan, a gifted pianist who was more than capable of managing Beethoven’s beautiful, yet demanding 4th concerto.
There was a certain sense of lyricism to his playing, and his technical prowess was made known as he mastered the numerous passages filled with scales and arpeggios. It was in several of these passages where I marveled at Besalyan’s ability to clearly delineate the different voices Beethoven had layered into the music.
Also significant was Besalyan’s ability to bring out striking dynamic contrasts in the music’s lines, this was most notable in the cadenza of the first movement.
His interpretation of the stark, yet passionate, second movement was quite lovely. He handled the dialogue between soloist and orchestra skillfully and with elegance.
Beethoven’s firey finale, Rondo: Vivace, is enough to put any soloist to the test. It was in this movement where Besalyan’s technical artistry came to the fore. He played the movement with flair of ease, meeting one challenge after the next. Once again, he was at his best with his interpretation of the cadenza, crisp, coherent, and musically satisfying.
For an encore, Mr. Besalyan performed a delightfully pleasing selection, “Spring,” by the Armenian composer Komitas.”
To read the entire review click here.
This glowing review by Steven Ritter appeared in Audiophile Audition Magazine on February 23, 2016.
“Riveting sound and brilliant performances add up to a most desirable set.
I had no idea that such a powerhouse pianist as Raffi Besalyan worked so close to me. Just downtown from where I live, as Assistant Professor of Piano at Georgia State University, resides this technical wiz and bold Rachmaninoff master.
On the basis of this recital, the recital hall at the university must be rocking these days. Besalyan has a frightfully gripping command of all this music, navigating its formidable technical traps with ease, and displaying a wonderfully lively tone and subtle sense of phrasing.”
Raffi Besalyan’s performances of select N.Kapustin jazz preludes and etudes are now published in the piano encyclopedia of Piano Teachers National Association of Japan. These performances were recorded in PTNA Studio in Tokyo in November 2015.
Raffi Besalyan will perform select Rachmaninoff Etudes-tableaux Op.39 for piano solo, and composer’s Songs Op.38 with acclaimed tenor and GSU music faculty, Richard Clement on the Faculty Artist Series at Georgia State University in Atlanta. This performance will take place at Kopleff Recital Hall on January 24 at 8 PM.
Raffi Besalyan will perform a solo recital and will give a brief interview live on Chicago’s 98.7WFMT classical music radio channel. This event will take place on December 4 at 12 PM.