hailed as one of the greatest cellists in north-central
Eagle Rock, California, Armen Ksajikian began his professional
career at age 12 with the Abkhazian State Philharmonic
in his native (former) Soviet Union. Since arriving in
the United States in 1976, he has been very active in
the musical life of Los Angeles, having appeared as soloist
and/or principal cellist with the Los Angeles Chamber
Orchestra, Opus Chamber Orchestra, the Pasadena, Pacific,
Long Beach, Glendale, New West, and Santa Monica Symphonies,
and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, as well as the Bolshoi,
Kirov, Stuttgart, Joffrey, Royal and American Ballet Theatre
Orchestras. He toured with the Los Angeles Philharmonic
to New York and throughout Europe and with the Hollywood
Bowl Orchestra to Japan and Brazil. Ksajikian has participated
in many music festivals including the Cabrillo, Colorado,
Banff, Sitka, Venice Film, Fairbanks Summer Arts, Oregon
Bach and Juneau Jazz & Classics.
As a member of the distinguished Armadillo
String Quartet since 1982, Ksajikian has been involved
in such daring events as a 34 1/2-hour marathon performance
of the complete quartets of Joseph Haydn, as well as
concerts from the top of the Mendenhall Glacier to the
bottom of the Grand Canyon, and from Hong Kong's City
Hall to New York's Carnegie Hall, where the Armadillo
Quartet gave the world premier of P.D.Q. Bach’s
String Quartet “The Moose”.
Since 2002 Armen’s new repertoire
of "Dance Music From Around the World" has
received critical aclaim at such venues as the Jasper
Festival of Music and Wine in Canada, the Ninth International
Cello Encounter in Rio de Janeiro, Alberta College’s
Centennial Celebrations in Edmonton and throughout Alaska.
For Armen as a quartet player 2004 has been an awarding
year: the California String Quartet, of which he is
a member, was nominated for “Most Outstanding
Classical Music Group” by the L. A. Weekly and
less than a month later the Armadillo String Quartet
was picked as “Best String Quartet 2004”
by Los Angeles Magazine.
In addition to many of Peter Schickele's
compositions, Ksajikian has premiered works by John
Cage, Miklos Rosza, John Williams, Mel Powell, Henry
Mancini, Randy Newman, John Adams, Chick Corea and many
others. In 1985 Ksajikian was invited to perform with
Jascha Heifetz in his master classes. In 1993 he made
his film limousine-driving debut in the action thriller
True Lies with Jamie Lee Curtis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Armen occasionally plays the role of Baroque cellist
with several early music ensembles in the Los Angeles
area. He can also be found in numerous Hollywood recording
orchestras, with over 900 motion picture soundtracks
to his credit.
Armen's hobbies include white water
rafting, poker, backgammon and playing concertos with
the Southland's symphony orchestras.