MR. VAHE HAYRIKYAN is a graduate of the Tchaikovsky School of Music, a special school for talented students in the former USSR. He earned his Master’s Degree at the Komitas Conservatory of Music and his Doctorate Degree at the Moscow Conservatory of Music. Mr. Hayrikyan has served as principal cellist of the National Symphony Orchestra and National Chamber Orchestra under the world-renowned conductors Khachaturyan Barshay, Mravinsky and Gergiev.
Since his arrival in the United States in 1990, Mr. Hayrikyan, in addition to performing many solo recitals, has been performing with the Pasadena, Glendale, and Burbank Symphonies, the Mozart Camerata, the South Bay Chamber Orchestra, and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.
IRINA PILPOSYAN received her Bachelor Degree in Music from the College of Music in the former USSR, Armenia. She later went on to study at the Komitas Conservatory. After earning her Master’s Degree in Piano Performance she went on to perform as a soloist throughout the former USSR and Romania. Shortly after, as a result of a national competition, Ms. Pilposyan was invited to perform as a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra.
Since 1993, Ms. Pilposyan has lived in the United States where she continues a successful career as a piano teacher. Of her students, many have won prestigious music competitions.
DR. NAIRA VARDANYAN is a graduate of the Tchaikovsky School of Music, a special school for talented students in the former USSR. She received her Master’s Degree in piano performance and pedagogy and her Doctorate Degree in piano performance and chamber performance from the Komitas Conservatory of Music, where she had the opportunity to perform as concertmaster under Professor Ketty Malkhasian, a student of the famous Nikolay Igumnov. Dr. Vardanyan has also studied at the Hanover Conservatory in Germany with Professor Maria Egehoff.
SAMANTHA BELL trained with the Anaheim Ballet on full scholarship and joined their company in 2008. She won third place at Youth America Grand Prix San Francisco and went onto the New York finals of that prestigious international ballet competition. Ms. Bell joined State Street Ballet in Santa Barbara as an apprentice in 2010 and was promoted to full company member in 2011. Since joining State Street Ballet, Ms. Bell has toured nationally performing soloist roles including the Autumn Fairy in Cinderella, Snow Queen and Rat Queen in The Nutcracker, Mrs. Medlock in The Secret Garden, and Bianca in The Taming of the Shrew. She has worked with the esteemed choreographers Robert Sund, William Soleau, and Josie Walsh. In addition to performing, Ms. Bell holds a BA in History from the University of California Santa Barbara and delights in sharing her passions of choreographing and history with audiences everywhere.
PAUL KIRZ, Jr. will be graduating from Azusa Pacific University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and Composition. His Senior Concert in Piano and Composition under APU’s School of Music will be April 21, 2014. An alumni of Southlands Christian Schools, of the class 2009, Paul was a vibrant and iconic member of the SCS family, appearing in SCS’ theatre productions of Fawlty Towers, Peter Pan, The Green Snowman, and No Easy Wok while simultaneously taking lessons in the French Horn and Piano. His influence continued at SCS, when he recorded and engineered the entire score of Children’s Letters to God for the Fall 2009 theatre production at SCS.