Avedis Kouyoumdjian, who has been a full professor of piano chamber music at the mdw since 1997, has received an honour that is very special indeed. Since October 2016, he has been leading the piano class at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Belgium together with the French-Canadian pianist Louis Lortie.
Their inaugural concert took place on 21 September. The two are teaming up to succeed Portuguese pianist Maria João Pires, who was “Master in Residence” at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel from 2012 to 2016. Avedis Kouyoumdjian, who headed the Joseph Haydn Department of Chamber Music, Early Music, and Contemporary Music from 2002 to 2010 and has since served as its deputy head, is looking forward to this new responsibility, “which naturally represents a great honour”, and for which he will be travelling to Belgium every two weeks. There, under the auspices of the Belgian Royal Family, multi-year programmes give outstanding young talents the opportunity to receive private instruction from selected professors. And together, these professors and their students play around 150 concerts per year. The private foundation that runs this institution was founded in 1939 by Queen Elisabeth of Belgium, for whom supporting music was a major priority.
Avedis Kouyoumdjian has also been the mdw’s Dean of Instrumental Studies since the autumn of 2010. He holds courses in Europe and Japan on a regular basis, serves as a juror at numerous international competitions, and was the initiator and founder of Vienna’s International Joseph Haydn Chamber Music Competition.