Conservatory Faculty

Bio-Edmond-Agopian

Edmond Agopian

B.Mus., M.Mus.

Orchestra Faculty
  • Director & Conductor, Calgary Youth Orchestra
Strings Faculty (violin)

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A violin graduate of the Juilliard School, Edmond Agopian began his studies in his native Romania. In 1991, he relinquished his post at Acadia University to take up positions as Professor of Violin and Conductor at the University of Calgary, and Artist-in-Residence at Mount Royal Conservatory. He was appointed Music Director of the Calgary Youth Orchestra in 2002.

As a violinist, Edmond has been featured on regional and national CBC, French and English radio programs, Radio Europa, and as a soloist with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. He is First Violin of the University of Calgary String Quartet in Residence, whose recording on the American label MSR Classics has received enthusiastic reviews from radio broadcasters and magazines, including Fanfare Magazine (USA)

Edmond has been awarded the Calgary Arts Award, and the Alberta Centennial Medal "in recognition of outstanding achievement and service to the people and province of Alberta". At the University of Calgary, he was awarded the John Peter Lee Roberts Distinguished Professorship in Fine Arts.

Mr. Agopian's performances have received numerous accolades, including:

"His performance was a triumph both of technique and integration..." Toronto Star

"...dramatic heart-felt playing with biting rhythmic emphasis. His pitch and tone were immaculate..." Calgary Herald

"...he not only revealed the great charm of the work (Bruch, Violin Concerto in G minor), but his own musical integrity as well." Halifax Chronicle Herald

"The Canadian Chamber Orchestra, conducted by concertmaster Edmond Agopian played with requisite grace..." Edmonton Journal

"One of the best recordings of the year..." CBC Radio- - Off the Record

"From the first note to the last they captured the symphonic sound...Their dynamic range was elastic, giving the phrases sculptural depth as well as linear tension." Halifax Chronicle-Herald

Conducting work has included performances with the Canadian Chamber Orchestra (conductor and concertmaster), the Shanghai Opera Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Polish Baltic Philharmonic Orchestra, and conductor and soloist with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. His Sundogs CD recording with the University of Calgary Orchestra, of Canadian orchestral music, was described by one critic as a "hands-down winner". Under his direction, the Calgary Youth Orchestra has toured France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Poland, Hungary, and New Zealand. Reviews of the Calgary Youth Orchestra include the following:

"The Calgary Youth Orchestra of Canada created magical moments for music lovers...Under the direction of Edmond Agopian the young musicians transcended the music..." Ouest France, Caen, France

"The connection between movements, the musical emphasis, the dynamic control of impeccable resolution, and the precise rhythmic beat, flavored with a good dramatic tempo, made the music a pleasure...The music was played with such sincere enthusiasm that it generated a rush felt by all..."  La Opinion de Granada-Critica Granada, Spain

"Already with their first piece, the brilliantly played "Reformation-Symphony" by Mendelssohn, they had the audience captivated. Applause lasting for several minutes rewarded the young musicians." Markische Allgemeine, Jüterbog, Germany

"Encore after encore, the audience just simply did not want to go home. I have never seen anything like this..."  Management-Krysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music, Poland

"Imaginative interpretation...nicely pulled off...played to the fullest, with enthusiasm and energy..." CBC Radio-Sound Advice (The Thrill of the Western CD recording)

For thirteen seasons Edmond was Music Director/Concertmaster of Calgary's professional string orchestra, the Kensington Sinfonia and for twenty summers, he was on the faculty of the Morningside Music Bridge International Music Festival at Mount Royal University Conservatory, in Beijing, Shanghai, and Gdansk, Poland.

His violin method The No Time to Practice Technique Companion has been on the SHAR Music Company's Bestseller List since 2002 and has been positively reviewed in the American String Teacher magazine. His students have won local, national and international awards, including the Rose Bowl-Calgary Performing Arts Festival, and are members of major orchestras, including four violinists in the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.

His newest ensemble, the Calgary Musicscapes Band, features repertoire which reflects the wide array of music of the Calgary musical community. From Klezmer to Mariachi, from Jazz to Mètis fiddling, Edmond Agopian's arrangements display the wide spectrum of Calgary's internatioanl musicscapes:

"The most common question after the concert was: When are they coming back?" -ProArts concert series director

"dynamtie Romanian fiddler Edmond Agopian." Penguin Eggs-Canada's Folk, Roots and World Music Magazine

"My students loved it...The repertoire was especially suitable for Grade 3, as they explore a few countries around the world in social studies...One Syrian student arrived a month ago from a Lebanese refugee camp, and I could see his eyes grow wide when he heard some familiar sounds." -Audience member and school teacher