Hailed for his emotional intensity, bold energy and remarkable levels of colour, Sergei Babayan brings a deep understanding and insight to a stylistically diverse repertoire, which includes a performance history of fifty-four concerti. Le Figaro has praised his “unrivalled touch, perfectly harmonious phrasing and breathtaking virtuosity.”
Highlights of the 2016–2017 season include recitals in Montreal, Vancouver; Lawrence, Kansas; St Paul, Minnesota; Durham, North Carolina; Charleston, South Carolina; and Evanston, Illinois; duo recitals with Daniil Trifonov in Princeton New Jersey, and Sarasota, Florida; chamber music performances in Los Angeles, and Fort Worth; and a return again to the Verbier Festival for a recital in August 2017.
In the spring of 2016, Sergei Babayan's recording of Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 5 with the Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev was released on the Mariinsky label to great acclaim.
In the 2015-2016 season, Sergei Babayan's schedule included concerto performances with the Rotterdam Philharmonic conducted by Valery Gergiev and with the Camerata Israel in Tel Aviv; performances at the Progetto Martha Argerich in Lugano, Switzerland; at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, and at Bad Kissengen, Germany; recital and concerto performances in duo with Daniil Trifonov at the Mariinsky Theater in St Petersburg, Russia; a return to Wigmore Hall in London; recitals and chamber music performances in Los Angeles; Atlanta; East Lansing, Michigan; and Columbia, South Carolina, among others.
Babayan has collaborated with such conductors as Yuri Temirkanov, Neeme Järvi, Hans Graf, David Robertson, Tugan Sokhiev and Kazimierz Kord among others. Over the years Babayan has performed with Valery Gergiev numerous times to great critical acclaim, including appearances at the international festival Stars of the White Nights, the Moscow Easter Festival, the Barbican with Gergiev conducting the London Symphony Orchestra, St Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire, the Théâtre des Champs Élysées in Paris, the Salzburg Festival and the Rotterdam Philharmonic-Gergiev Festival where Babayan was Artist-in-Residence.
Babayan performs with the world’s most prominent orchestras, including the London Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Mariinsky Orchestra, the Warsaw Philharmonic, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de Lille, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the New World Symphony.
His engagements and tours have brought him to preeminent international concert venues including the Salle Gaveau in Paris, Wigmore Hall in London, Carnegie Hall in New York, the Warsaw Philharmonic, Severance Hall in Cleveland, the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, the Herkulessaal in Munich, the Liederhalle in Stuttgart, the Meistersingerhalle in Nuremberg, the Konzerthaus in Berlin, the Brahms-Saal in Karlsruhe, the Beethovenhalle in Bonn, the Philharmonie in Essen, the Rudolfinum-Dvořák Hall in Prague and Victoria Hall in Geneva. Babayan’s performances have been broadcast by WQXR, WCLV, Radio France, Polish Radio and Television, BBC TV, NHK Satellite Television and Medici TV.
Born in Armenia into a musical family, Babayan began his studies there with Georgy Saradjev and continued at the Moscow Conservatoire with Mikhail Pletnev, Vera Gornostayeva and Lev Naumov. Following his first trip outside the USSR in 1989 he won consecutive 1st prizes at several major international competitions including the Robert Casadesus International Piano Competition (renamed the Cleveland International Piano Competition), the Hamamatsu Piano Competition and the Scottish International Piano Competition.