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Indiana University Violin Professor Kevork Mardirossian has Died, Aged 70

A professor at the school for over a decade, Mardirossian passed away in Bloomington after a brief illness


Violinist Kevork Mardirossian was appointed the James H. Rudy Professor of Music in Violin at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in 2008.

Mardirossian mentored over 100 students — many of whom won national and international competitions, plus roles in leading orchestras worldwide as principal players, and as teachers in universities across Europe, Asia, and the U.S.

Mardirossian made his first solo recital at age 12. He gained recognition when he won the gold medal and first prize at the Obretenov Violin Competition in Bulgaria in 1978, the gold medal at Katya Popova International Music Festival in 1979, and several international chamber music competitions between 1985 and 1986 with his duo partner, pianist Lee Phillips.

He also performed throughout Bulgaria, the former Soviet Union, and Eastern Europe, soon developing a solo career with tours of England, Wales, Italy, France, and the U.S., including debuts in London and Carnegie Hall in 1992.

As a guest artist, he appeared at festivals in Spain, Shanghai, England, France, Germany, Spain, Japan, and Korea, as well as the European Cultural Months, International Chamber Music Festival in Plovdi, Czech Festival in Trento, and Sofia Musical Weeks, among others.

After serving as concertmaster of the Plovdiv Philharmonic from 1980 to 1988, he moved to the United States, where he was appointed artist-in-residence at the University of Central Arkansas. There, he co-founded the Kapelle Trio with Phillips and cellist Felice Farrell as well as the Heber Springs Chamber Music Festival in 1998.

Prior to joining IU’s faculty, Mardirossian served as violin professor and chair of the String Department at the College of Music and Drama at Louisiana State University (LSU) from 1995 to 2008.

Additionally, he served on the faculties of the International Institute at Round Top, the Aria String Academy, Aurora Chamber Music festival, Manuel De Falla International Courses, and String Academy in Pontedeume.

He held international masterclasses at the Shanghai Conservatory, plus presented regular masterclasses in Europe, Asia, South America, and the U.S. across many major schools and universities.

“Kevork Mardirossian was an extraordinarily accomplished musician and a professor who was well beloved by his students,” expressed IU Jacobs School of Music’s Dean Abra Bush in a tribute. “He was a wonderful colleague and friend to so many in our community and his absence will be deeply felt across Jacobs School of Music.”

Our condolences to Mr. Mardirossian's family, friends, students, and colleagues.

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