Diran Alexanian

Diran Alexanian

French-American cellist and music educator
Country: USA

Biography of Diran Alexanian

Diran Alexanian was a Franco-American cellist and music educator of Armenian descent. He studied in Leipzig under Friedrich Grützmacher and played in a chamber ensemble with Joseph Joachim during his youth. At the age of 17, Alexanian performed the solo part in Richard Strauss's "Don Quixote" under the composer's direction.

At 20 years old, Alexanian moved to Paris, where he met Pablo Casals and became his closest collaborator for many decades. Casals and Alexanian independently developed their own unique approaches to technique and phrasing. They decided to defend their views on performance technique and musical aesthetics together. From 1921 to 1937, Alexanian assisted Casals in his teaching activities in Paris, using his textbook "Theoretical and Practical Aspects of Cello Playing" (French: "Trait? Th?orique et Pratique du Violoncelle; 1922") as the foundation of their work. Among his students were Pierre Fournier, Emanuel Feuermann, Ljerko Spiller, and Herbert de Castro. In 1929, the famous edition of Bach suites edited by Alexanian was published.

Despite his teaching commitments, Alexanian continued to concertize. One notable event in Parisian musical life was his joint performance with Georges Enesco in a concert featuring Brahms' double concerto for violin and cello in 1936. Alexanian also performed Enesco's second cello sonata for the Parisian audience during that time.

In 1937, Alexanian relocated to the United States and taught at the Peabody Conservatory and Manhattan School of Music. One of his notable students was David Soyer.