Four-time GRAMMY®️ Award nominated conductor Constantine Orbelian has been called “the singer’s dream collaborator” by Opera News, which hailed him for conducting vocal repertoire “with the sensitivity of a lieder pianist.”
In June 2021, Maestro Orbelian was appointed Music Director and Principal Conductor of one of the great New York institutions—New York City Opera. He has toured and recorded with some of the world’s greatest singers, including American stars Renée Fleming, Sondra Radvanovsky and Lawrence Brownlee, and with the great Dmitri Hvorostovsky and other renowned Eastern European singers in North American, European, Russian and Asian music centers. Orbelian recently guest conducted orchestras in Central and South America, including the Orchestra Filharmonica de Buenos Aires, where he appeared with mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard. In the past year, he has also concertized with Daniil Trifonov, Elina Garanča, Asmik Grigorian and Renée Fleming.
Orbelian recently celebrated ten years as chief conductor of the Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra in Lithuania. He has been Artistic Director of the State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater in Yerevan, Armenia; the Director of the Moscow Chamber Orchestra; and the Philharmonia of Russia; and was the founder of the annual Palaces of St. Petersburg International Music Festival. In summer 2023, for the second year, the maestro conducted the Festival Orchestra Napa at the Festival Napa Valley. Among his concert and televised appearances are collaborations with Hvorostovsky, Anna Netrebko and Van Cliburn, including the legendary pianist’s farewell performance.
“Orbelian has star quality, and his orchestra plays with passion and precision,” The Audio Critic wrote of his acclaimed series of over 60 recordings for Delos, which include Hvorostovsky’s most treasured releases.
Born in San Francisco to Russian and Armenian emigré parents, Orbelian made his performing debut as a piano prodigy with the San Francisco Symphony at the age of 11. After graduating from The Juilliard School in New York, he embarked on a career as a piano virtuoso that included appearances with major symphony orchestras throughout the U.S., U.K., Europe and Russia.
In 2001 Maestro Orbelian was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, given to immigrants, or children of immigrants, who have made outstanding contributions to the United States. In November 2022 Orbelian and the Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra gave the World Premiere performance of Lera Auerbach’s Symphony No. 6, Vessels of Light, and in the same year Orbelian and the Kaunas City Symphony were awarded the Golden Disc Award for high artistic level and intensive concert activity.