A group of young, determinate, and visionary talents having the same strive for success and the same objective for greatest achievements reunited towards the love for classical music and the understanding of the higher values and created the ideal harmony in the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra.
The Armenian State Symphony Orchestra (ASSO) was founded in 2005 by conductor Sergey Smbatyan, who is also its Artistic Director and Principal Conductor. Initially being founded as the State Youth Orchestra of Armenia, the devotion of the young musicians led it to upgrade to a State Symphony Orchestra.
During 14 years the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra has been touching lives through classical music. The orchestra performs more than 50 concerts yearly and has a versatile repertoire, which spans all-time favorites and orchestral masterpieces to cutting-edge premieres of pieces by Armenian and foreign contemporary composers.
The ASSO has earned an international reputation for its orchestral virtuosity, having garnered sterling reviews for its overseas concert tours and many successful recordings. The most famous concert halls have welcomed the ASSO in Germany, Great Britain, France, Russia, Belgium, China, Netherlands, Italy, Lebanon, Dubai, and other countries. Operas and concert halls like Opera Garnier (Paris), Konzerthaus (Berlin), The Elbphilharmonie (Hamburg), Musikverein (Vienna), Teatro Real (Madrid), Dr. Anton Philipszaal (Hague), Palais des Beaux-Arts (Brussels), P.Tchaikovsky Philharmonic Concert Hall and Conservatory Great Concert Hall (Moscow), Dubai Opera House have held the ASSO’s concerts during its international tours. ASSO's concerts have been broadcasted by Medici.tv, Euronews, and Classic.fm.
The Orchestra has taken part in numerous international festivals, to name a few, “Moscow Easter Festival” (Moscow, Russia), “YOUNG EURO CLASSIC’’ (Berlin, Germany), Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival, and many others. In addition, the ASSO has been the resident orchestra at the Aram Khachaturian International Competition (since 2007) and performed as a resident orchestra at the Musica Riva International Festival (2013, Riva del Garda, Italy), the annual Khachaturian International Festival, the 9th Frederic Chopin International Competition for Young Pianists (2014, Foshan, China), the Al Bustan International Festival (2014-2016, Beirut, Lebanon), Malta International Music Festival (2018), and more. In 2016 and 2017, the Orchestra performed at the ceremony of Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity. In 2019, the Orchestra presented Nino Rota’s original score from “The Godfather” and John Williams’ music from “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” under the baton of American conductor Justin Freer in Dubai Opera House.
Since 2010 the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra with the support of the RA Ministry of Culture has been holding the annual Armenian Composers’ Art Festival, and since 2013 has been realizing the annual Khachaturian International Festival. The ASSO constantly presents new interesting projects, such as concert series entitled “Hollywood Non-Stop”, “Cartoon Non- Stop”, “Tours to...”, “ASSO Meets”, “Master Creates Masters” and others. Since 2018 with the support of the RA Ministry of Education and Science the Orchestra has been implementing the valuable educational-cultural project DasA aimed at spreading classical music among youth.
Bridging the musical traditions of East and West, Armenian and International musicians and composers like Valery Gergiev, Krzysztof Penderecki, Vladimir Spivakov, Maxim Vengerov, Denis Matsuev, Vadim Repin, Vag Papian, Boris Berezovsky, Zakhar Bron, and many others are regularly showcased in the concert season. This has been a core of the ASSO's programming philosophy from the very beginning under the Artistic Director and Conductor Sergey Smbatyan.
Headed by him in 2011 the Orchestra released its first CD entitled "Music is the Answer". Recorded with the Sony records label the CD includes works by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Armenian contemporary composer Eduard Hayrapetyan.
In addition to carrying out an intense concert activity, the orchestra is well-loved for its significant role in educating the young people of Armenia. Charitable events, special projects, and all outreach and community performances are organized for the children of Armenia, which help to engage the schoolchildren of the farther regions in the cultural life of the capital and to inseminate love towards the classical music in the younger generation.
ASSO is ready to discover new horizons and to create new projects that will make the environment better and brighter, energized with creative energy and higher values.