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KSO announces renewal of music director Aram Demirjian’s contract through 2022

November 12, 2018

The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra (KSO) has announced the extension of Aram Demirjian’s contract as music director for three years beyond the current three year contract that began in 2016. This extension takes Maestro Demirjian through the 2021-2022 season.

“The energy Demirjian brought to Knoxville is evident,” said Board President Russ Watkins. “The past two seasons have been filled to the brim with exciting musical programming and performances, and thoughtful engagement in the community. Demirjian has a presence on and off stage that welcomes audience members, friends, and patrons alike to engage with him and the Orchestra. We are eager and enthusiastic to have him continue implementing his vision for the KSO over the next three years.”

Knoxville Symphony Orchestra music director Aram Demirjian

Aram Demirjian is currently in his third season as Music Director of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. Under Demirjian’s galvanizing leadership, KSO audiences have continued to grow, and the orchestra has routinely found itself in the regional and national spotlight. Highlights of his tenure include a landmark collaboration with Clarence Brown Theatre, presenting Leonard Bernstein’s Candide as part of the Bernstein Centenary celebration, the founding of KSO UnStaged, a new series of multi-sensory, music-centric events taking place in unconventional venues, plus two appearances on the Big Ears Festival, and the KSO’s selection as one of four North American orchestras to be featured in the 2020 SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras at the Kennedy Center, Washington, DC.

Aram Demirjian said, “I am honored, humbled, and excited to continue the journey we are on at the Knoxville Symphony. My utmost gratitude is with the Knoxville Symphony Society for extending my tenure as Music Director, my incredible musician colleagues for their collaboration and passion, and our administration for their devotion behind the scenes to music. I am eager to work with our whole team to build on the progress of the last two seasons and to advance the KSO to new heights for Knoxville’s audiences, students and community at large. As a beloved teacher of mine would often delight in saying: Onward!”

Demirjian is deeply involved in a substantial breadth of education and community outreach initiatives with the goal of ensuring that East Tennesseans of all ages, backgrounds and circumstances have access to great symphonic music. He served previously as the Associate Conductor of the Kansas City Symphony. A devoted educator, Demirjian has created and conducted education and family concerts for orchestras across the country. Demirjian has conducted The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, St. Louis and Wichita symphonies, the Minnesota and Sarasota orchestras, the Louisiana Philharmonic and appearances at the Tanglewood Music Center and Breckenridge Music Festival. Demirjian is the winner of a 2017 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award and the 2011 Robert J. Harth Conducting Prize from the Aspen Music Festival, where he was a three-time Conducting Fellow in the Aspen Conducting Academy. Demirjian holds a joint Bachelor of Arts in Music and Government from Harvard University and a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from New England Conservatory.

About the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra
Led by Music Director Aram Demirjian, the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra consists of 80 professional musicians and performs 300 programs throughout the region each season, reaching audiences of more than 200,000 people. The KSO performs in traditional venues such as the Tennessee Theatre, Bijou Theatre and the Civic Auditorium as well as non-traditional places like hospitals, schools, city parks and churches. For more information regarding the KSO, please visit or call 865-291-3310.