I have a special guest on my blog today, pianist Mihran Kalaydjian. I’ve been following “Mino’s” blog for some time, astounded by the beauty of his compositions and performances. He recently did an interview with his manager, Amanda Baruch, which I’m delighted to share with you today. Please welcome Amanda and Mino for this special interview. And be sure to check out Mino’s links at the bottom. His performances are inspirational!
Mihran Kalaydjian “Mino “is a special breed and I mean that in the most complimentary sense of the phrase. He has it all – the whole package of artistic gifts – and in abundance. But, what strikes me about his playing is the sheer beauty – the concept, the intelligence, the control over every sound, the vision, the phenomenal listening to it all – all the attributes that comprise great artistry of the sort that touches our souls.
Hailed as a “consummate artist — brilliant, formidable, effortless, and the epitome of control and poise,” Mihran Kalaydjian is an internationally distinguished pianist, winning universal acclaim as orchestral soloist, recitalist, accompanist, and chamber musician. Possessing the rare combination of insight, inspiration, and a dazzling technique, he continues to touch and electrify audiences around the world.
Amanda Baruch: Let me begin by thanking you for your time Mino. It is widely known your yearly concert schedule, with consistently sold out concert venues is demanding to say the least. It’s an honor to present to fans your most current, up-to-date interview, taking place during your Worldwide Concert Tour in 2015 and upcoming new release Roads to You.
I am confident many people who have attended one of your earlier concerts, are now anticipating their next opportunity to watch you perform live during the 2015 concert season. For some people this year will be their first chance to attend a live Mino concert. For the benefit of every concertgoer; can you tell us about any changes you have planned this year, and what attendees will experience during a live concert event in 2015?
Mino: We have listened to what the fans have been requesting and asking us to put into the concert though the social media in the internet. I have introduced some songs that have been not performed for many years into this current tour.
There is music from the very beginning of my career right up my most recent studio album. We have just started this recent tour in South America and the audience reaction was fantastic.
Amanda: Clearly, the extraordinary vocalists and instrumentalists in your orchestra are an integral part of the total Mino concert experience. Would you like to tell us about the artists performing with you during the 2015 concert season?
Mino: I believe that our orchestra is made up of the best musicians in the world. Some of these musicians have been touring with us for decades and the most recent additions have already been with us for over 3 years.
Our musicians represent 11 different nationalities on the stage including England, Germany, Venezuela, Cuba, Paraguay, China, Canada, USA, Russia, Armenia and Greece. Some of the featured soloists fans will be familiar with are Arto Yervinyan (Armenia) on violin, Sevan Manoukian (USA) on drums, Haim Cohen (Israel) on keyboards and Alexander Khoury on cello.
Amanda: The 2015 concert is already an ambitious number of concert appearances, with many more performances to be added later in the year. Given the fact each concert venue is special in its own way, what drives or motivates you and the orchestra to produce an exciting and memorable concert experience for an audience every time?
Mino: Every single concert is different. Each one has a unique experience with the audience and in my career I have never experienced any two concerts that were the same. This coming year we will be touring in over 20 countries and we get a renewed enthusiasm from each new audience.
That is the magic of live performances, they are live and never the same. I still get “butterflies” or anxious before every single show. When we perform for an audience, we get so much love from the audience that makes all of us on the stage feel so motivated and rewarded for our effort and this love and relationship with the audience is what keeps us going with such enthusiasm.
Amanda: For any person who has attended or watched one of your televised live concerts, it is apparent the caliber of artists and vocalists in your orchestra is unsurpassed.
Even to the untrained ear their performances are stunning! It is easy to tell that you select only the very best musicians and vocalists from around the world. Can you tell us a little bit about the selection process for artists in your orchestra?
Mino: Our history has been that someone in the orchestra refers the new person to us. Each member knows the commitment that is required to be in this orchestra and they understand the chemistry, personality and the skill level that is required. Once we have people referred, they undergo a rigorous audition process and then we put them in with the rest of the orchestra. If the chemistry works and they are of the caliber of character needed, then they join and stay for many years. Thankfully, we don’t find ourselves looking for new people very often. Usually several years pass before we look for new members.
Amanda: Throughout your career, you have shared a close relationship with your fans. It seems you devote so much of your time and energy to please the millions of Mino fans, which includes membership portals, special events and countless interviews, including our interview today. Why are fans so important to you Mino?
Mino: The relationship with my audience is very important because the fans give to me more than I could ever give to them. The love I receive from fans along with the knowledge that my music has affected so many people gives me the passion to continue my career. This interaction with the fans is why I have been able to work at my passion for over 15 years now and there is no end or sign of slowing down in sight. I am extremely grateful to all of my fans for this support and encouragement.
Amanda: Do you have any personal or professional endeavors you would like to achieve sometime in the future?
Mino: At the moment I am very happy with our plans to continue touring around the world and meeting new people and learning from new cultures. I am sure that in some years from now, this will slow down and I will have other initiatives to explore but for the moment I am living in what is the best time of my life and I am very happy with that.
Amanda: While preparing for our interview Mino, I couldn’t help but think of what an amazing success story your life has been. Every day I am in contact with artists, many of which envision the attainment and level of success in their careers, similar to what you have achieved during your career. Knowing there will be a variety of debuting and seasoned artists reading our interview; can you offer any advice or guidance for musicians in general or artists in the early stages of their music career?
Mino: I believe that as an artist and composer, you must stay true to your dreams and persist through the challenging times. I never had a master plan for how my career would work out. I would just focus on the task at hand and dedicate all of my energy and resources to what I was doing at that time.
I never thought about success or money, I only thought about my music and doing the very best I could in being a creative artist. I believe that by putting all of my energy and resources into my music, it led to me being able to have a career as a professional music artist.
Just a few of the awards that Mihran has received for his music.
GOLD MEDALIST in FOUR INTERNATIONAL PIANO COMPETITIONS
New Orleans IPC, Alfredo Barilli IPC, Washington IPC, Missouri Southern IPC, Laureate of Seiler IPC, Special Prizes (including Best Performances of 20th-Century and Commissioned Works)
- WINNER for “Album of the Year” in the 2013 Whisperings Solo Piano Radio awards.
- “Spiritual Awakening” nominated for Best New Age Song in the 2013 Independent Music Awards.
- Nominated for Best Solo Piano Album on One World Music.
- “Radiance” nominated for Best Instrumental Song in the 2013 Boston Music in Media (HMMA’s) Awards.
- “2013 Top Pick” from Kathy Parsons on MainlyPiano.com
- Ranked #45 on the 2013 Top 100 Albums on Zone Music Reporter.
- Olga Brose Valencia Prize for Excellence in Musical Composition (2008)
- “Time Lines” Down Beat Album of the Year 2006
- First Doris Duke Foundation Award for Jazz Composers
Tell us about your website/blog. What will readers find there?