New England Conservatory Announces Violinist/Violist Ara Gregorian as Chair of String and Piano Chamber Music

New England Conservatory has announced violinist/violist Ara Gregorian as Chair of String and Piano Chamber Music beginning in the Fall of 2024. As Chair, Gregorian will provide artistic and administrative direction for the program, as well as mentorship to prepare students to lead impactful lives in music.

Ara Gregorian

"I am honored to join the faculty at New England Conservatory, and look forward to collaborating with the students, my colleagues, and all across the NEC community to continue NEC's tradition of chamber music excellence,” Gregorian said.

As founder and artistic director of the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival and Distinguished Professor in Music at East Carolina University, Gregorian brings a wealth of experience coaching chamber music ensembles and individual artists.

"I am thrilled to announce the appointment of Ara Gregorian as the Chair of String and Piano Chamber Music. His unwavering commitment to working with aspiring chamber musicians and his profound understanding of music education ensures he will serve as an exemplary leader, guiding our program to new levels of success and inspiring future generations of musicians,” said NEC Provost Benjamin Sosland.

"Ara's exceptional virtuosity as both a soloist and chamber music performer, coupled with his visionary leadership, has created a dynamic platform for collaboration among faculty and students. His appointment promises to continue the esteemed tradition of NEC’s Chamber Music,” stated interim Chamber Music Co-Chairs Nicholas Kitchen and Yeesun Kim.

NEC's rich history of chamber music education, dating back to its founding in 1876, boasts unparalleled expertise. Members of ensembles such as the Cleveland Quartet, Mendelssohn Quartet, The Weilerstein Trio, Vermeer Quartet, and Cavani String Quartet have all enriched the educational experience for students. 

Under the longtime guidance of cellist Paul Katz and pianist Vivian Hornik Weilerstein, the Professional String Quartet and Piano Trio programs have flourished, nurturing new ensembles such as the BalourdetParker, Verona, and Ariel Quartets along with Trio GaiaMerz Trio, and Trio Cavatina, among others. Gregorian joins an esteemed group of faculty including predecessors Scott Nickrenz, Roger Tapping, Lucy Chapman, and Merry Peckham, to interim co-chairs Kitchen and Kim of the Borromeo String Quartet, NEC’s faculty quartet in residence.

About Ara Gregorian

Known for his thrilling performances and musical creativity, violinist/violist Ara Gregorian made his New York recital debut in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and his debut as soloist with the Boston Pops Orchestra in Symphony Hall. Since that time, he has established himself as one of the most sought-after and versatile musicians of his generation with performances in New York’s Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center and in major metropolitan cities throughout the world including Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Cleveland, Vancouver, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Ulaanbaatar, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Helsinki.

Throughout his career, Gregorian has taken an active role as a performer and presenter of chamber music. He is the founder and artistic director of the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival which will celebrate its 25th Anniversary Season in the coming season and has appeared at festivals worldwide including the SpringLight (Finland), Storioni (Holland), Summer Solstice (Canada), Casals (Puerto Rico), Intimacy of Creativity (Hong Kong), Voice of Music in the Upper Galilee (Israel), Taos, Bard, Bravo! Vail Valley, Santa Fe, Skaneateles, Music in the Vineyards, Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, Cactus Pear, Chesapeake, Madeline Island, Kingston and Manchester festivals. He is a member of the Cooperstown Quartet, has performed extensively with Concertante and the Daedalus Quartet, and has recorded for National Public Radio, New York’s WQXR, and the Bridge and Kleos labels.

An active and committed teacher, Gregorian is currently the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival Distinguished Professor in Music at East Carolina University where he has been on the violin/viola/chamber music faculty since 1998. He has taken a leading role in creating opportunities for talented students and young professionals through Four Seasons’ Spring Workshop and Next Generation initiatives, and is on the faculty of the Taos School of Music.

Gregorian currently makes his home in North Carolina with his wife, violinist Hye-Jin Kim, and their son Theodor. He performs on a Francesco Ruggeri violin from 1690 and a Grubaugh and Seifert viola from 2006.