The violinist and respected pedagogue was 70 years old


Violinist Kevork Mardirossian |

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Violinist Kevork Mardirossian died in Bloomington, IN on Tuesday 11 June 2024, after a brief illness. The violin professor at the Indiana University (IU) Jacobs School of Music was 70 years old.

Mardirossian gave his first recital at the age of twelve. His musical education included studies at the Dobrin Petkov School and the Bulgarian State Conservatory, and later the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

His career took off after victories at the 1978 Obretenov Violin Competition in Bulgaria and the 1979 Katya Popova International Competition, where he won the gold medal, plus several international chamber music competitions in 1985-86 with his duo partner, pianist Lee Phillips. He later went on to become a regular guest juror at numerous international competitions.

From 1980 to 1988, he served as concertmaster of the Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra in Bulgaria and performed as a concert soloist, recitalist and chamber musician throughout Bulgaria, the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. In 1988, he moved to the US and performed in the UK, Italy and France, making his London and Carnegie Hall debuts in 1992.

Between 1988 and 1990, Mardirossian was concertmaster of the Baton Rouge Symphony, after which he was appointed artist-in-residence in violin at the University of Central Arkansas. There, he co-founded the Kapelle Trio with pianist Lee Phillips and cellist Felice Farrell as well as the Heber Springs Chamber Music Festival and master courses in 1998.

In 1995, he was appointed as violin professor and chair of the string department at the College of Music and Drama at Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge. At LSU, he received awards in recognition of his teaching work, including the LSU Distinguished Faculty Award, the LSU School of Music Award for Excellence in Teaching and the LSU San Diego II Alumni Professorship.

He appeared as guest artist at international music festivals in Cheltenham, UK; the European Cultural Months; the International Chamber Music Festival in Plovdiv, Bulgaria; the Czech Festival in Trento, Italy; and the Sofia Musical Weeks, Bulgaria, among others.

Mardirossian was appointed to IU Jacobs School of Music in 2008. He was considered a highly respected violin pedagogue and devoted mentor to more than 100 outstanding students, many of them winners in national and international competitions. Others can be found in the world’s leading orchestras as concertmasters and principals, and as teachers in universities in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

’Kevork Mardirossian was an extraordinarily accomplished musician and a professor who was well beloved by his students,’ said Abra Bush, David Henry Jacobs Bicentennial dean. ’He was a wonderful colleague and friend to so many in our community and his absence will be deeply felt across Jacobs School of Music.’

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