Chief Conductor

Haig Utidjian was educated at the Universities of Sussex, London and Cambridge, at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in the UK (where he was the recipient of the Ricordi Conducting Prize), at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, and by means of private consultations with Lothar Zagrosek, Carlo Maria Giulini, Vilém Tauský and Josef Kuchinka. He is a professional orchestral and opera conductor and choirmaster of wide experience. He has served as Music Director of, inter alia, the Chamber Orchestra of Sussex (based at the Chapel Royal in Brighton), The Ensemble Duparc, and the North Bohemian Chamber Orchestra. Outside the Czech Republic (where he lives and works) he has guest-conducted in the UK, the Channel Islands, Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Hungary, Armenia and Cyprus; he has also worked on a number of acclaimed productions at the Opera House in  Liberec. Recent successes have included Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Pisa University Chorus, the Brahms German Requiem with the Cologne University Chorus, Janáček’s Otče náš with the Princeton Chapel Choir, as well as works such as Dvořák’s Stabat Mater, Te Deum, Mass in D and Svatá Ludmila with the  Orchestra and Chorus of Charles University in Prague, of which he has served as Chief Conductor since 2001, and with whom he recently appeared in a televised concert in Prague Castle on the occasion of the state visit of Pope Benedict XVI, as well as in a liturgical performance of Dvořák’s Mass in D at Vienna’s Stephansdom in December 2012. In July 2014 he conducted the first performance since the composer’s lifetime of a hitherto unknown version of the same work, at the Trinitatiskierche in Cologne, and is currently preparing a new edition for publication.

His research interests include the musicology and theology of the Armenian Hymnal and of the works of St. Gregory of Narek, matters of notation, and interactions with neighbouring traditions of sacred music. He lectures frequently at home and internationally. His extensive list of publications includes the volumes They who imbibed the effusions of the Spirit: the Art of the Armenian Book through the Ages (Mervart, 2016), Treasures of the earliest Christian nation: Spirituality, Art and Music in Mediaeval Armenian Manuscripts (Royal Canonry of the Premonstratensians at Strahov in Prague, 2018) and Tntesean and the Music of the Armenian Hymnal (Mervart, 2018). Dr Utidjian holds an Honorary affiliation with the Faculty of Philosophy and Arts at Charles University in Prague, and was recently decorated with the Komitas medal by the Armenian state, in recogition of his services to music and musicology, and the Yakob Meghapart medal by the National Library of Armenia.