The Non Profit Music Chamber Orchestra had its origin March 31st 2006, at a concert in aid of Medicusmundi at the Auditorio Nacional of Madrid. It has the intention of carrying out at least one concert per year, achieving the objectives of the Non Profit Music Foundation: spreading classical contemporary music and sensitizing the public on humanitarian causes.
This orchestra is made up of brilliant young musicians from several academic and professional orchestras, such as the Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid, the Orquesta Sinfónica de RTVE, the Orquesta Reina Sofía, the Orquesta Titular del Teatro Real de Madrid or the West Eastern Divan Orchestra, conducted by Daniel Baremboin.
The musicians were selected by the violinist Ara Malikian, who is leader as well as conductor of the orchestra.
Ara Malikian is undoubtedly one of the most brilliant and expressive violinists of his generation. He has a personal style that has been forged from his origins and rich musical experience. His violin’s voice stands as one of the most original and innovative in the musical scene.
He was born in Lebanon in 1968 in an Armenian family and began studying violin with his father at a very early age. He gave his first concert being 12 years-old and received, at the age of 14, a grant from the German government (DAAD) to study at the “Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hannover”.
Subsequently, he went to London to broaden his studies at the “Guildhall School of Music & Drama”. At the same time, he received lessons from some of the most prestigious professors in the world, such as Franco Gulli, Ruggiero Ricci, Ivri Gitlis, Herman Krebbers or some members of the Alban Berg Quartett.
An inexhaustible musical and human concern have led Ara Malikian to go more deeply into his own Armenian roots and to assimilate music from other cultures and countries: Middle East (Arab and Jewish), Central Europe (gipsy and kletzmer), Argentina (tango) and Spain (flamenco). All this creates a personal language in which the rhythmic and emotional strength of this cultures´ music joins the virtuosity and expressiveness of the European classical tradition.
His repertoire is very wide, including nearly all the great pieces written for the violin (concerts with orchestra, sonatas and pieces with piano and chamber music). He has also premiered works from modern composers such as Franco Danatoni, Malcolm Lipkin, Luciano Chailly, Ladislav Kupkovic, Loris Tjeknavorian, Lawrence Roma, Vladimir Martynov, Øystein Seväg, David Johnstone, Yervand Yernakian and the Spaniard Jorge Grundman. Malikian is also one of the few violinists that perform recitals for solo violin with programmes entirely dedicated to significant cycles such as the “24 Caprices of Paganini”, the “6 sonatas of Eugene Ysaÿe” and the “Sonatas and partitas of J.S.Bach”.
Ara Malikian´s quality and standard as a violinist has been recognised in many worldwide prestigious competitions, among which stand out the First Prizes in the International Competitions “Felix Mendelssohn” (1987 at Berlin, Germany) and “Pablo Sarasate” (1995 at Pamplona, Spain), besides the prizes from competitions like the “Niccolo Paganini” (Genoa, Italy), “Zino Francescatti” (Marseilles, France), “Rodolfo Lipizer” (Gorizia, Italy), “Juventudes Musicales” (Belgrade, Yugoslavia), “Rameau” (Le Mans, France), “International Artist Guild” (New York, USA) and the “International Music Competition of Japan”. He received in 1993 the “Prize for Artistic Dedication and Achievement” from the German ministry of culture.
He has played in the best concert halls of more than forty countries all around the world: New York (Carnegie Hall), Paris (Salle Pleyel), Vienna (Musikverein), Toronto (Ford Center), Madrid (Auditorio Nacional and Teatro Real), Zurich (Tonahlle), London (Barbican Center), Tokyo, Istanbul, Berlin, Athens, Venice, Los Angeles, Taipei, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Cuba, Barcelona and Bilbao, among others. He has also participated in the festivals of Aspen, Colmar, Prades, Schleswig Holstein, Braunschweig, San Sebastián, Segovia, Bergen, Freden, Metlach and Prague.
As a soloist he has been invited to orchestras of the stature of the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, London Chamber Orchestra, Genoa Opera Orchestra, Madrid Symphony Orchestra, Portugal Symphony Orchestra, Tuebingen Chamber Orchestra, Moscow Virtuous, Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, Toulouse Chamber Orchestra, Armenia Philharmonic, and in Spain to the Symphony Orchestras of Madrid, Galicia, Euskadi, Bilbao, Málaga and Tenerife among others; under conductors such as Mariss Janssons, Peter Maag, Jesús López Cobos, Miguel Ángel Gómez-Martínez, Luis Antonio García Navarro, Peter Schneider, Vassili Sinaisky, Edmond de Stoutz, Gudni Emilson, Juan José Mena, Jo Ann Falletta or Pedro Halffter.
Ara Malikian has an extensive record collection, including the “Four Seasons” of Antonio Vivaldi –more than 80.000 sold copies for UNICEF-, the whole cycle of sonatas for violin and piano of Robert Schumann, the sonatas and partitas for solo violin of J.S.Bach, the “6 sonatas” of Eugene Ysaÿe and the “24 Caprices” of Niccolo Paganini, among others.
He has been asked to collaborate with important film music composers such as Alberto Iglesias, Pascal Gainge, Lucio Godoy or Roque Baños, in films like Hable con ella, Lunes al sol or Otro barrio.