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Berlin Symphony Orchestra Hires New Principal Guest Conductor

Armenian conductor Sergey Smbatyan will assume the role, effective immediately


Sergey Smbatyan is the artistic director and chief conductor of the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra and has held the same role with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra since 2019.

He recently performed in his new role with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, conducting at Dubai’s 2024 InClassica International Music Festival. 

“It is such a big pleasure to be able to work with this orchestra,” Smbatyan posted on Instagram.

Smbatyan made his debut performance with the London Symphony Orchestra and has since been a guest conductor with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, Mariinsky Theater Symphony Orchestra, and the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, among others.

His interest in contemporary music has also seen him collaborate with Krzysztof Penderecki, Tigran Mansuryan, Arvo Pärt, and Gia Kancheli.

Recent concert highlights include a concert tour in the UK with the Romanian National Philharmonic Orchestra and leading the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra on a UK tour, honoring Aram Khachaturian’s 120th anniversary.

The current season will see Smbatyan perform with the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestra del Teatro Goldoni di Livorno across venues such as the Berliner Philharmonie, Teatro Goldoni, Dubai Opera, and the Royal Opera House in Muscat. 

Smbatyan’s accolades include Honored Artist of the Republic of Armenia and the Chevalier of the “Order of Arts and Letters” of France. In 2023, he was appointed a UNICEF National Ambassador.

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