From 2005 to 2008 Maestro Pehlivanian became the first ever foreign Chief Conductor of the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2007 he was appointed the Principal Guest Conductor of the Cagliari Opera House in Sardegnia. He was also Principal Guest Conductor of the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz from (2002 - 2012). He has held Principal Guest Conductor positions with the Residentie Orchestra in The Hague (1996-1999) and the Vienna Chamber Orchestra (1996-2000).
Mr. Pehlivanian has conducted many of the world’s leading orchestras, including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonia, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Filarmonica della Scala, Qatar Philharmonic, Accademia di Santa Cecilia Orchestra in Rome, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Monte-Carlo Philharmonic, Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Teatro Massimo de Palermo, Orchestra Nazionalle della RAI Torino, BBC Philharmonic, Bamberger Symphoniker, the Norddeutschen, Hessischen and Südwestdeutschen Rundfunks Symphony Orchestras, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Bournemouth Symphony, Orquesta Nacional de España, Orquesta Radio Television de España, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, to name a few. In North America he has worked with all the main orchestras across Canada, as well as the Baltimore, Houston, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, St. Paul, Pacific and Honolulu Symphony Orchestras. Elsewhere, he has worked with the Russian National Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic, Kirov Opera Orchestra, Sydney Symphony, Japan Virtuoso, Malaysian Philharmonic and Hong-Kong Philharmonic Orchestras. His recent debuts with the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, the NDR Radio Philharmonic Hanover and Czech Philharmonic Orchestra were met with abundant enthusiasm.
His operatic experience include ‘La Traviata’ at the Kirov, ‘Tosca’ in Bordeaux, The Dutch premiere of ‘Riders to the Sea’, ‘La Voix Humaine’ by Poulenc in La Cité de la Musique. In 2006, he enjoyed an enourmous success in his Italian Lyric Debut at the Opera Theatre of San Carlo Napoli conducting ‘Ottello’, and was immediately re-invited to conduct ‘Cavalleria Rusticana’ and ‘Gianni Schicci’ in 2007. In Cagliari as the Principal Guest Conductor, Maestro Pehlivanian conducted , ‘Pique Dame' and ‘Andrea Chenier’. In 2009, back to Napoli, at the Teatro San Carlo with a new production of “Damnation de Faust” and his recent operatic engagements included the world premiere of LE JOUR DES MEURTRES by Pierre Thilloy and Boris Godunov at the Teatro Massimo de Palermo among many others.
He has conducted in many important Festivals including the closing concert of the first White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Ravenna, Ravello, Mito Milan, Aspen, Ljubljana, Grenada, Bruckner Festival Linz, Lugano, Verona Musica Septembre, Settimane Musicali diMerano, MITO Milan, Jeunesse Musicale Wien, Prague Autumn and Festival Verdi in Parma
Mr. Pehlivanian enjoys the privilege of collaborating regularly with the world’s most distinguished soloists. Including Sarah Chang, Misha Maisky, Leonidas Kavakos, Vadim Repin, Janine Jansen, Fazil Say, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Emanuel Ax, Ferrucio Furlanetto, Mirella Freni, Ruggiero Raimondi, Dmitry Hrovstovsky, Marjana Lipovšek , to name but a few.
Mr. Pehlivanian recently finished recording an all Christian Jost CD with the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz to be released in the near future. His discography also includes a series of recordings that are released with the Slovenian Philharmonic, covering the most celebrated Slovenian composers, as the Opera ‘Ekvinokcij’ by Marjan Kozina, and complete Symphonic albums by Blaž Arniè, and Marjan Kozina. Future recordings will include the music of Lucijan Marija Škerjanc and Matija Bravnièar. Other recordings include a double CD release with Virgin Classics/EMI and the Monte Carlo Philharmonic, the world premiere recording of music by Zhukov under CHANDOS with the Residentie Orchestra, works by Rodrigo with the Orquesta Nacional de España STUDIO SM, as well as Liszt’s complete works for piano and orchestra in 3 Cds with Louis Lortie and the Residentie Orchestra for CHANDOS, the third instalment of which received special praise by Gramophone Magazine in May 2002.
George Pehlivanian captured international attention in 1991 when he became the first American to win the Grand Prize at the prestigious Besançon Conducting Competition aged 27. Since then, he has consolidated his reputation as one of the most compelling conductors of his generation.
Mr. Pehlivanian was born in Beirut, Lebanon, starting piano and violin lessons at the age of three and six respectively. In 1975, he emigrated with his family to Los Angeles where he would soon study conducting with Pierre Boulez, Lorin Maazel and Ferdinand Leitner. At the Academia Chiggiana in Sienna, Italy where he spent two summers, he was awarded the Diploma di Merito. At present, he lives with his family in Paris.
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