Dickran Atamian



Competition Winner

Born: February 24, 1956 (Arizona)

Dickran Atamian, pianist, made his orchestral debut at age 11 with the Phoenix Symphony. He studied at Oberlin as a scholarship student and followed his teacher John Perry to the University of Texas, Houston.

Atamian was the winner of a 1975 Walter W. Naumburg Award. That year's awards celebrated Naumburg's 50th anniversary. His Naumburg concert featured a new piano transcription of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring by Sam Raphling. The performance led to a recording by RCA Red Seal Records.

A tour of the Soviet Union and a series of nationally televised PBS specials followed including “An Evening with  Atamian” which won ”Best of PBS” in 1981 and “Atamian Salutes Kapell”. (Both specials are available on YouTube.)

Atamian performed nearly 200 concerts with orchestras: Cleveland Orchestra under Lorin Maazel, the Detroit Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Pops, the Phoenix Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; orchestras in Poland, Russia, Mexico, and South Korea. Conductors he worked with: Gerard Schwarz, Erich Leinsdorf, Eduardo Mata, David Zinman, Sergio Comissiona, James DePreist, Gustav Meier, Victor Allessandro, Verner Torkanowsky, Jens Nygaard, Alan Hovanhess, Grzegorz Nowak, Enrique Batiz, Michael Morgan, and Joann Faletta.

Adding to the list of orchestral appearances, Atamian performed on many leading recital series in the world’s great music capitols: among them Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall and Alice Tully Hall, the 92nd Street Y, Town Hall, Carnegie Hall in New York, Orchestra Hall in Chicago, the Kennedy Center and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, Symphony Hall in Boston, Grady Gammage Auditorium in Phoenix, Salle Gaveau in Paris, Bellas Artes in Mexico City, Victoria Hall in Geneva, Town Hall in Sidney and the Great Hall in Moscow. He has also performed at the Aspen, Marlboro, Chautauqua and Ravinia festivals.

His other recordings include the Prokofiev Third and Khachaturian Piano Concertos with Gerard Schwarz and the Seattle Symphony on Delos, CDs of the Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition, selective works of Chopin and four Beethoven Sonatas.

Atamian aka Jack Price of Price Rubin and Partners Artist Management, head-quatered in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Excerpt from The New York Times review, February 4, 1976

Piano Skill is Displayed by Atamian

"proved to be a talented pianist worth hearing and worth watching mature...his playing is already impressive, as was to be expected from a Naumburg winner...Mr. Atamian is a pianist with an outgoing temperament, (Schubert's Sonata in G) yet he offered a sweetness and serenity suitable to so many of the sonata's pages..  he was impressive in transitional measures, bridging different moods smoothly and subtly." Raymond Ericson

Excerpt from The New York Times review, November 22, 1976

Dickran Atamian: Gifted, Unorthodox Piano Energy

"impression that he is not only unusually gifted, but is also a very individual musical personality...approach to the instrument is rather unorthodox. He plays in a highly physical mannerm throwing himself at the keyboard with elbows flying, swinging his left leg exuberantly in the air...daredevil playing on a large scale and it generated a great deal of sheer visceral excitement...Mr. Atamian is clearly extraordinarily talented and possesses a mind of his own... he will be a pianist to keep an eye on." Peter G. Davis

Excerpt from The New York Times review, November 22, 1979

Piano: Atamian Plays 'Rite of Spring'

"aside from being a tour de force for the performer, the new work brings out the similarities between Petrouchka and Rite...as expected, the Rite transcription is a technical blockbuster...in the performance Mr. Atamian suggested a remarkable amount of the vivid color of the work in its orchestral form..at times he was all over the keyboard, sounding as if he had four hands instead of two, and the effect was electric...the complex percussive rhythms were all there, but so were the quiet, eerie passages that illuminate Stravinsky's evocation of ancient pagan Russia." Raymond Ericson


1975-76 50th Anniversary Violin Competition

First Prize

Commissioned Works

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Naumburg Performances

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Recording Awards

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