Monday, June 22, 2009

Khatchatur Pilikian: Iraqi Opera Singer

Courtesy of Khatchatur Pilikian

* Born in Mosul, Iraq in 1939. Khatchtur lived and studied in Iraq, Lebanon and Italy. He left Iraq for Lebanon in 1951/52.

* Khatchatur I. Pilikian is a performing and recording musician (RAI-TV, RCA, Durium, Poetica), painter (Gentes Ars=People’s Art, International Exhibition Prize, Rome, 1961), and a research scholar/lecturer.

* After leaving his studies in architecture at Rome University (1957-1959), Pilikian pursued his art studies at the Fine Arts Academy and the French Academy, both in Rome, while continuing his music studies at Rome’s St. Cecilia Academy and Chigiana Academy in Siena.

* As a leading tenor, Pilikian was invited to Armenia, where he made his debut in 1961, singing the role of Cavaradossi in Puccini’s opera Tosca, at the Spendiarian Opera Theatre of Yerevan, conducted by maestro Yuri Davitian.

* In 1964, Pilikian created two roles in Mario Nascimbene’s TV-opera Faust a Manhattan, conducted by maestro Franco Ferrara and directed by Sandro Bolchi, presenting Italy in the International TV Festival Premio Italia 64.

* In 1970, an original poster in Kufic style, designed by K. I. Pilikian, publicised the First Poetry Encounter—a world conference on Arab poetry, held in Beirut.

* In 1973, Leonardo da Vinci on voice, music and stage design was the title of his research as a Fulbright scholar at Indiana University, Bloomington,

* In 1975, he completed the resident requirements for the Doctor of Music degree.

* In 1976, Khatchatur Pilikian joined the music faculty of Wayne State University (Michigan), where, in addition to his academic responsibilities as a pedagogue/performer with WSU faculty, Professor Pilikian designed and directed an original university radio WDET-FM series entitled HARC-The Heritage of Armenian Culture (sponsored by the Armenian General Benevolent Union—AGBU Alex Manoogian Cultural Fund).

* In Jan. 2002, he took part, as a tenor soloist, with Cahit Baylav (violin) and Hassan Erraji (oud), in the NAZIM HIKMET 100 Celebration Concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

* In April 22, 2006, Pilikian produced and directed his original Audio-Visual Libretto—Harmonic Synthesis of Armenian Poems and Music, for the AGBU 100 Anniversary, Montreal Chapter, Canada.

* Garod Books of the Gomidas Institute has recently published Pilikian’s latest book titled "UNESCO LAUREATES: Nazim Hikmet & Aram Khatchaturian"

* Khatchatur currently live in London.

* He was not affiliated with the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra (INSO), but as an Iraqi who specializes in western classical music (whether composer, musician or conductor) and/or opera singing, he is featured here.

Listen to his performance here: