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Glendale Symphony garners temp deal for new conductor

Iranian-born Loris Tjeknavorian has led groups in Vienna, London.

August 12, 2010|By Melanie Hicken,

GLENDALE — The struggling Glendale Symphony Orchestra has inked a temporary deal with an internationally-renowned conductor ahead of what the organization hopes will be a more long-term contract, officials said Tuesday.

Representatives for the orchestra said they hope to hire Loris Tjeknavorian, who has led orchestras in Vienna, London and Yerevan, to serve as musical director. Details on a proposed one-year contract are still being worked out, said Glenn Treibitz, president of the board of directors.

In the meantime, Tjeknavorian has agreed to lead at least one performance this fall as a guest conductor, Treibitz said.

"We are moving toward a complete contract, but the details have not been agreed upon by both sides yet," he said. "I'm very excited and hopeful that we will be able to have such a world-class conductor in Glendale."


Tjeknavorian was not available Wednesday for comment.

The Iranian-born conductor led the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra from 1989 through 2000, according to his website, and has conducted performances in more than a dozen countries.

Tuesday's announcement comes as the Glendale Symphony continues to pursue more aggressive fundraising and planning efforts to keep the organization alive.

Founded in 1924, the orchestra has in recent years been relatively dormant amid anemic donations during the protracted recession. Its most recent performance was in February 2007.

In that void came the Glendale Renaissance Orchestra, which performs at the Americana at Brand, although representatives for both organizations have stressed that they cater to different audiences.

Glendale Symphony officials said they hope to capitalize on Tjeknavorian's fame to help spur more contributions and audience excitement.

"We've been very successful in raising some money in the last year or so, and with him on board I think even more will come," Treibitz said.

After spending several years focusing on cataloguing his personal musical compositions, Tjeknavorian was receptive to offers from the Glendale orchestra, said acting Executive Director Arman Keyvanian.

"He felt an urge again, a very strong urge to conduct again," Keyvanian said. "He was looking for a situation that he could walk into that would better an entire community."

The Glendale Symphony is now planning a Sept. 11 fundraising event at Lexus of Glendale to introduce Tjeknavorian to the community, Treibitz said.

For more information, contact the office at (818) 500-8720.

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