Hailed for his emotional intensity, bold energy and remarkable levels of color, Armenian-American pianist Sergei Babayan will give a free concert at Ithaca College on Friday, Nov. 30. His performance of works by Frédéric Chopin will take place at 8:15 p.m. in Ford Hall of the James J. Whalen Center for Music. It is sponsored by the Rachel S. Thaler Concert Pianist Series.
Born in Armenia into a musical family, Babayan began his studies there with Georgy Saradjev and continued at the Moscow Conservatory with Mikhail Pletnev, Vera Gornostayeva and Lev Naumov. Following his first trip outside of the U.S.S.R. in 1989, he won consecutive first prizes in several major competitions, including the Cleveland International Piano Competition, the Hamamatsu Piano Competition and the Scottish International Piano Competition.
Babayan has built a distinguished career as concerto soloist, chamber musician and recitalist. He has appeared with many of the world’s leading orchestras, among them the London Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. In 2015 he joined the LSO and conductor Valery Gergiev at the BBC Proms for a day-long survey of Prokofiev’s five piano concertos.
Established in 1991 in honor of a talented pianist and longtime Ithaca College supporter, the Rachel S. Thaler Concert Pianist Series has brought to the college such world-class virtuosos as Vadym Kholodenko, Yefim Bronfman, Gilbert Kalish and Garrick Ohlsson.
For more information, visit www.ithaca.edu/thaler/piano.