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KSO Music Director Aram Demirjian selected to conduct family concerts with the Philadelphia Orchestra

August 9, 2016


Aram Demirjian KSO Music DirectorKnoxville, TN – August 9, 2016- The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra’s Music Director, Aram Demirjian, has been selected as a guest conductor to lead the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Family Concerts in the 2016-2017 Season. Demirjian was named Music Director of the Knoxville Symphony on May 31, 2016 after a year-long search. The Philadelphia Orchestra announced Aram Demirjian as a collaborator for these concerts on July 19, 2016 in a press release found here.

“Aram is a young conductor on the rise and certainly someone to watch,” said Executive Director Rachel Ford. “The Knoxville community is excited to have found a talented conductor and Music Director who has his finger on the pulse of today’s orchestra industry. Having just concluded a four-year tenure as associate conductor for the Kansas City Symphony, Aram continues to guest conduct and grow his career. The Philadelphia Orchestra is one of the preeminent orchestras in the world, and having the KSO’s Music Director lead such a reputable institution strengthens not only his abilities but the visibility of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra.”

The Philadelphia Orchestra is led by Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin and newly-appointed assistant conductor Kensho Watanabe, whose two-year appointment begins this season. During the audition process for assistant conductor, the Philadelphia Orchestra also identified Aram Demirjian to be a collaborator on upcoming 2016-17 season Philadelphia Orchestra Family concerts. The first family concert is scheduled for October 29, 2016 and is Halloween-themed, an annual fall tradition. The second family concert takes place February 4, 2017 and is entitled “Who Stole the Mona Lisa?” featuring Igor Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite.

“I am honored and excited to be working with The Philadelphia Orchestra on multiple upcoming Collaborative Learning projects,” said Demirjian. “Music is a gateway to boundless possibility and joy, and it is essential to expose young people to it early and often through programs that encourage self-expression, creativity, and participation, both in the concert hall and in the classroom. I am looking forward to forging meaningful connections with students and families throughout this wonderfully diverse community, and I am grateful to Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the entire Philadelphia Orchestra team for the opportunity to conduct this amazing ensemble.”
About Aram Demirjian:
Aram Demirjian was appointed the eighth music director of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra earlier this summer and began his tenure by conducting the KSO 32nd Annual Free Pilot Flying J Independence Day Concert on July 4, 2016 with patriotic music, where he was welcomed by East Tennessee audiences with fervor. Originally from Boston, Aram joins the KSO family after a four-year tenure as Associate Conductor of the Kansas City Symphony.

In four years at the Kansas City Symphony (KCS), Demirjian conducted over 200 performances including subscription concerts and critically praised annual performances of Handel’s Messiah. Demirjian is involved in community outreach initiatives with the goal of ensuring that everyone, regardless of age, background, or circumstance, has access to great symphonic music. With the KCS, he programmed, scripted, and conducted education concerts for nearly 45,000 elementary school students annually.

Demirjian’s lively 2016-17 season includes two return engagements performing with the Louisiana Philharmonic, debuts with the Corpus Christi Symphony, Fresno Philharmonic, and Illinois Symphony, and his European debut on the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra’s Dominicales series. Recent guest conducting highlights include debuts with the Minnesota Orchestra, and Memphis and Omaha symphonies. Demirjian is a frequent cover conductor with the Boston Symphony, where he assisted Music Director Andris Nelsons, Christoph von Dohnányi, and Manfred Honeck.

Aram Demirjian was one of only two conductors in the inaugural class of the distinguished Orchestral Conducting program at New England Conservatory, where he earned his Master of Music. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, in music and government from Harvard University, where his conducting journey began with a two-year appointment as music director of the Harvard Bach Society Orchestra. His primary teachers and mentors include Hugh Wolff, Robert Spano, Larry Rachleff, and Michael Stern.

About the KSO: Established in 1935, and now under the leadership of Music Director Aram Demirjian, the KSO has contributed to the cultural life in East Tennessee continuously for 80 years, providing excellence in musical and educational programs. The Orchestra consists of 80 professional musicians and performs 250 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.


For media inquiries, contact Rachel Dellinger, Director of Communications, at 865-521-2317 or [email protected]