Sergey Smbatyan Biography

Armenian conductor Sergey Smbatyan is the founder, artistic director and principal conductor of the State Youth Orchestra of Armenia. For his achievements in culture the conductor was awarded with the Title “Honored Artist of the Republic of Armenia” by the RA President Serzh Sargsyan in 2016 and a Gold Medal by Yerevan Mayor in 2017. Currently, Sergey Smbatyan is the principal conductor and music director of the State Youth Orchestra of Armenia (SYOA), an orchestra which has been granted the status of the “State Orchestra” for its high professionalism and input in expansion of contemporary music. He founded the orchestra when he was only 18 years old. Under his leadership, SYOA received invitations to internationally renowned festivals and major venues. In 2015 it represented Armenia at MIDEM in Cannes, where Armenia was recognized as Country of Honor. In April 2017, the SYOA headed by conductor Sergey Smbatyan, performed within the framework of the Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival in Poland. In May 2016 Sergey Smbatyan won the first prize of the new International Concert Competition "Debut Berlin". The laureate concert took place on June 1st at the Chamber Music Hall of the Berlin Philharmonic Hall. Highlights of his career include performances with the Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra, the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra in Moscow, the DSO Berlin, Dresden Philharmonic, the Warsaw Philharmonic at the 19th Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival in Warsaw, Munich Symphony Orchestra and the Korean Chamber Orchestra at the Seoul Arts Center. The collaboration with the Korean Chamber Orchestra continued later in Moscow with soloist Pinchas Zukerman, in Boston and at Carnegie Hall in New York.

Should be mentioned his debut with the London Symphony Orchestra and the “LSO Discovery” concert. He conducted the joint gala concert with the renowned artist Maxim Vengerov at the Windsor Castle for HRH Prince Charles “Princes Trust” event. After the great success the concert was repeated at Buckingham Palace in 2011 where he conducted the Philharmonia Orchestra again.

The 2016 gave a start to Smbatyan's joint world concert tour with the renowned actor John Malkovich launching a new innovative project - the fusion of music and literature.

On September 21, 2016 he conducted the launch concert of the All Armenian Choir and Orchestra "Generation of Independence”, where 1144 Armenian musicians from different regions of Armenia and Artsakh performed together on one stage. This special project was initiated by Sergey Smbatyan himself. Other impressive initiatives are the foundation of  24/04 World Orchestra for Peace in 2015 and the Pan-Armenian Symphony Orchestra in 2017. The latter, under the baton of Sergey Smbatyan, had its debut at the 40th anniversary of Gramophone Awards. As a conductor Sergey Smbatyan was greatly influenced by the late Sir Colin Davis, Riccardo Muti as well as Valery Gergiev. Inspired by the latters, currently he is the Founder of Khachaturian Conducting Competition. A champion of Armenian contemporary music, he is the co-founder and artistic director of the Armenian Composers’ Arts Festival (ACAF) and the founder and the artistic director of the Khachaturian Festival. He also seeks active participation in charity projects, conducting at nursing homes, orphanages and universities throughout Armenia. The continous artistic support to Aurora Humanitarian Initiative is one of the largest scale humanitarian activities during the career.

In 2009 Sergey founded the unique UNICEF Children Orchestra which gave numerous performances in Armenia and in Europe. In 2015 Sergey Smbatyan received the “Order of Arts and Letters of France” granted by the Minister of Culture and Communication of France.



  • The hero of Beethoven’s Seventh was Sergey Smbatyan himself. By no means was it a “textbook” interpretation of this big classical hit. The Armenian conductor attempted to be original.
    Marta Januszkiewicz

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