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    Biography:

 

Vardan Ovsepian is an Armenian-born pianist/composer whose studies include Yerevan State Conservatory, Estonian Music Academy, Helsinki Jazz Conservatory, and Berklee College of Music. 

    From the early years Vardan was fascinated by the blend of western classical music with jazz, and has been in perpetual search for unique ways of incorporating the hybrid formation in his composing and improvising. Consequently a semi-large chamber ensemble (VOCE) was formed in 2005, focusing on the cinematic approach in the musical narrative.

    Throughout the years Vardan has also developed a remarkable angular geometric world, connected to his background in chess, and his attraction to minimalism and modern architecture, resulting in the publication of 2 books: Mirror Exercises (2011) and Permutation Studies (2020).

    Another spotlight is the origination of the “Fractal Limit” duet with  Tatiana Parra, which has received an immense international recognition. The project showcases Vardan’s remarkable technical proficiency and capacity to articulate contrapuntal textures.

    In addition to VOCE and Fractal Limit, Vardan has collaborated with artists like Mick Goodrick, Peter Erskine, Jerry Bergonzi, Tim Miller, Ben Monder, David Binney, and has released 20+ albums as a leader and co-leader.     

    Resent awards include Fractal Limit’s First Prize at the Achava Jazz Award (Erfurt, Germany - 2017), Chamber Music America Grant for New Jazz Works program funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (New York, NY - 2017).

    Presently Vardan resides in Los Angeles, and instructs at CalArts.

 

“Vardan brings his own sound and ingredients... I have never heard any    musician quite like him in terms of harmonic awareness and melodic power. I suspect that he will prove to be quite a sensation…" - Peter Erskine

                                                                                         

“Having had the chance to play with him, (and to record with him) I can only say that he is 'the real deal, and the whole package.” - Mick Goodrick

 

 

 

CV

 

 

 

Education

 

1997-2000 Berklee College of Music - Boston, MA

Major in Piano Performance

 

1995-1997 Helsinki Jazz Conservatory - Helsinki, Finland

Major in Piano Performance

 

1994-1995 Estonian Music Academy - Tallinn, Estonia

Classes in Contemporary Classical Composition

 

1992-1994 Yerevan State Conservatory - Yerevan, Armenia

Major in Classical Composition

 

1990-1992 Romanos Melikyan College of Music - Yerevan, Armenia

Major in Music Theory

 

1982-1989 Junior Music School - Yerevan, Armenia

Major in Piano Performance and Music Theory

 

 

 

Teaching

 

California Institute of Arts; Los Angeles CA (2022 - present)

Composition, improvisation, harmony, ensembles

 

University of California, Los Angeles - UCLA (May 2023)

Composition masterclass

 

Cal Poly Pomona (May 2023)

Composition and improvisation masterclass

 

Berklee College of Music; Boston MA (November 2014)

Composition masterclass for the professional writing division

 

Berklee College of Music; Boston MA (November 2014)

Workshop about the “art of duo” for the voice department

 

Cambridge School of Weston; Weston MA (November 2014)

Composition masterclass

 

Beijing Contemporary Music Academy; Beijing, China (October 2014)

Small ensemble performance skills (Peter Erskine clinics), jazz piano and composition private instructions

 

Sacheon International Jazz Workshop: S. Korea (summer 2014)

Lectures on “finding your own voice”, jazz piano and composition private instructions, small ensemble performance skills

 

Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music: Chennai, India (fall 2010) 

Improvisation and composition classes, small ensemble performance skills

 

The Musical Suite: Newburyport, MA (2000 – 2009)

Classical and jazz piano private instructions, small ensemble performance skills

 

Maine Jazz Camp: Farmington, ME (2000-2008)

Improvisation and theory classes, small ensemble performance skills

 

Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival: Fairbanks, AK (2004-2008)

Jazz piano and composition private instructions, small ensemble performance skills

 

Susquehanna University: Selinsgrove, PA (2006-07, 2007-08, 2014 -15 academic years)

Improvisation and theory classes, small ensemble performance skills

 

Bucknell University: Lewisburg, PA (2007-08 academic year)

Workshops on improvisation and composition

 

Wheeler Jazz Camp: Providence, RI (2006, 2007)

Improvisation and composition classes, small ensemble performance skills

 

Towson State University: Towson, MD (2004-05, 2005-06 academic years)

Improvisation and composition classes

 

 

 

Reviews and Articles

 

expressmilwaukee.com

Review of Lighthouse by David Luhrssen 2014

 

O’s Place Jazz Magazine

Review of Lighthouse by Dr. Oscar Groomes 2014

 

Downbeat Magazine

Review of Akunc and Sketch Book, by Greg Buium; February 2005

 

The Boston Globe

Preview article of solo performance at Zeitgeist Gallery (Cambridge, MA), by Bill Beuttler; February 2005

 

jazzpreview.com 

Review of Akunc, by Roman St. James; January 2005

 

The Boston Globe 

Article Beauty of Sketch Book Draws Attention to Local Pianist Ovsepian, by Bill Beuttler; March 2004

 

Keyboard Magazine

Article Mr. Goodchord Goes Keyboard, Part 2, by Mitch Haupers; January 2004

 

Cadence Building

Review of Sketch Book; July 2003

 

Portland Press Herald 

Review of November 30, 2002 concert at the Center for Cultural Exchange (Portland ME), 

by Steve Feeney; December 2002

 

 

 

Awards and Recognition 

 

Chamber Music America Grant for New Jazz Works program funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (New York, NY) 2017

Achava Jazz Award First Prize (Erfurt, Germany) 2017

Full Berklee International Tour and Entering Student Scholarships 1997-2000

Edman Jazz Piano Competition First Prize co-winner (Hartford, CT) 1998

Armenian General Benevolent Union Grant 1997-2000

 

 

Recordings/Publications

 

Permutation Studies (book) - published in 2020

Tomorrow is Yesterday - 2020

Triptych - 2020

Fractal Limit Originals (book) - published in 2020

Every Tomorrow - 2019

Oneness - 2018

Andorr - 2018

The Archaic Present (duet with Biliana Voutchkova) - 2018                

In Praise of Shadows (Peter Erskine New Trio) - 2016                               

Hand in Hand (duet with Tatiana Parra) - 2016                        

As Autumn Departs (duet with Ji Park) - 2015 

Lighthouse (duet with Tatiana Parra) - 2014

Dreaming Paris Theme and Variations (VOCE) - 2013

Now (duet with Joon Lee) - 2012

Chromaticity - 2012 

Nocturnal Prophecy (duet with John O’Gallagher) – 2011 

Joy Luck (Peter Erskine New Trio) - 2011 

Mirror Exercises (book) – published in 2011

VOCE (Vardan Ovsepian Chamber Ensemble) - 2006

 

Recordings on the Fresh Sound, New Talent label [Barcelona, Spain] include:

Points North (Vardan Ovsepian Quintet) - 2013

Aragast (Vardan Ovsepian Quartet) - 2006

Akunc (Vardan Ovsepian Quintet) - 2004

Sketch Book (Vardan Ovsepian Quintet) - 2002

Abandoned Wheel (solo piano) – 2001

 

 

 

Languages 

 

Fluent in English, Armenian and Russian

 

 

References

 

Available upon request

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