Armen Donelian

Born: 1950    Primary Instrument: Piano

Armen Donelian

For over thirty years, pianist/composer and Fulbright Scholar ARMEN DONELIAN has distinguished himself in 23 countries as a performer, recording artist, master class leader, and with his published writings. Donelian’s music is a distinctive blend of influences including his Armenian origin, his Classical technique, and his association with some of the biggest names in Jazz. And, according to Metronom, he achieves this fusion “in such a natural way that one can tell it’s a master’s work.”

As a child, Armen absorbed the sound of Armenian, Turkish, Greek and Middle Eastern music at social gatherings and from records his father played at home....
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Fulbright Scholar (2002/Armenia); Fulbright Senior Specialist (2003/Armenia, 2004/Finland, 2005/Switzerland, 2006/Sweden); NEA Jazz Performance Fellow (1983, 1987, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996); NJSCA Composition Fellowship (2000); numerous other awards & grants
Armen Donelian is another of those great unsung jazz piano heroes who has lived in New York for a couple of decades. Downtown Music Gallery, 2003 (Bruce Gallanter) for Quartet Language CD (Playscape) by Armen Donelian

Pianist Armen Donelian is a veteran whose credentials have never been in doubt: he first appeared on record a quarter century ago and has recently led a string of solid discs. Mark Armen Donelian on your list of musicians to watch. All About Jazz, 2003 (Nils Jacobsen) for Quartet Language CD (Playscape) by Armen Donelian

On his recent Mystic Heights, he applies that same balance [as on Wave] between tension and release to a program of sensitive originals. Village Voice, 2002 (Gary Giddins) for Mystic Heights CD (Sunnyside) by Armen Donelian

Donelian's sense of touch and control is astonishing. His melodies emerge from the keyboard as if magically summoned, and his harmonies and multiple reharmonizations are full of profound depth and insight. Jazz Improv, 2001 (Don Glasgo) for Wave CD (Sunnyside) by Armen Donelian

On the pianist's recent album, Wave (Sunnyside), Armen Donelian has pared down his considerable technique in favor of a dramatic lyricism that, in pieces as old-hat as All of Me and as unlikely as Our Day Will Come and a couple of Beatles ballads, he sustains with controlled and expressive poetry. Village Voice, 2001 (Gary Giddins) for Wave CD (Sunnyside) by Armen Donelian

Donelian’s technique and interpretation are superb and made a deep impression on Armenian Jazz fans. NAB Artists Management, 1999 (Nika Babaian) for live solo piano performance by Armen Donelian, Yerevan Chamber Hall, Armenia

Donelian mesmerized the audience. Armenian Mirror-Spectator, 1998 (Nancy Kalajian) for live performance of Armen Donelian Trio, Tufts University, Medford, MA

Donelian’s mastery of writing for small group is startling... exceptional...a provocative modernist. Lawrence Journal-World, 1990 (Chuck Berg) for The Wayfarer CD (Sunnyside) by Armen Donelian

A open door to evolutionary jazz. Swing Jazz Journal, 1987 (Bernard Rabaud), for A Reverie CD (Sunnyside) by Armen Donelian

A strongly individual identity...Donelian’s work subsumes the passion of Chick Corea, the rigor of Richie Beirach, and Bill Evans’ ascetic romanticism. New York Post, 1983 (Richard Sudhalter) for live performance of Armen Donelian Quartet, 7th Avenue South, NYC

Primary Instrument:

Hudson, NY

Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.

Co-Director, Hudson Jazz Workshop (since 2007) New School Jazz Program (since 1986) William Paterson University (since 1993) Manhattan School of Music (1989-2000) Private (since 1964)

Clinic/Workshop Information:
Berklee College, Colby College, Mankato University, Virgina Commonwealth University, University of Virginia, Paris Conservatory, Rhythmic Music Conservatory, Sibelius Academy, St. Petersburg Conservatory, Yerevan Conservatory, Graz University, Zurich Hochschule, Luzern Hochschule, Athens Conservatory, Corfu University, Bogazici University, Tel Aviv Conservatory (Shtricker), Vienna University, Vienna Conservatory, Klagenfurt University

Steinway Affiliated Artist

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Date Venue Ticket
Apr27 Castle Street Cafe
Great Barrington, MA

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