Aram Demirjian

Symphony Orchestras and performing arts organizations all over the world have had to cancel performances, postpone events and shutter concert hall doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Live performances involve large groups of people and that's not a good idea right now. So what are these artists doing in the meantime? How do they create music and connect with an audience? Thankfully, we are in a digital age and have technology to help, but how people choose to use that technology is up to them.

Amidst the chaos of COVID-19 and the disruption it has caused for live performances, there has been some good news for music director, Aram Demirjian. The young conductor of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra has been named the eleventh recipient of the Sir Georg Solti conducting award. This prestigious award is the largest grant given to a conductor under the age of thirty-eight years old. The grant may be used  for career advancement, whether it be for furthering studies, purchasing scores, or paying for travel.


On the February Masterworks concert, the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra will perform music by three pioneers in Classical music: George Walker, Florence Price, and Ludwig van Beethoven.

The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra will share an evening of music by Viennese composers, Mozart and Mahler on Thursday, January 16 and Friday, January 17th, both at 7:30pm in the magnificent Tennessee Theatre in downtown Knoxville. Twenty-three year old pianist, Aristo Sham, will perform Mozart's joyful and lyrical Piano Concerto No.23 in A Major and then the KSO, led by Maestro Demirjian, will take the audience on an epic journey through Mahler's Symphony No.1 ('Titan').  Tickets and information at

The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and members from Nief-Norf will present a concert on Thursday, November 21st and Friday, November 22nd at 7:30pm. "The Art of Rhythm" is the theme and the audience will be treated to the rare opportunity to hear a percussion concerto which will be performed by percussionists Andy Bliss and Mike Truesdale, both members of the Knoxville-based contemporary music ensemble, Nief-Norf. Israeli-born composer, Avner Dorman's Spices, Perfumes, Toxins! is a "feast for the senses", says music director, Aram Demirjian.

Clarence Chan

The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra's October Masterworks program is all about the idea of home and folk music. But what exactly is folk music? Music Director, Aram Demirjian, and Melony Dodson explore this topic and talk about the Maestro's latest Facebook post praising Dvorak's Seventh Symphony.

On October 17 and 18, the KSO will perform Jessie Montgomery's "Records From a Vanishing City", Dvorak's Symphony No.7, and Edvard Grieg's thrilling Piano Concerto in A minor, featuring internationally renowned pianist, Natasha Paremski.

WUOT Morning Concert host Melony Dodson speaks with KSO Music Director Aram Demirjian and KSO Director of Education and Community Partnerships Jennifer Harrell, about the orchestra's upcoming invitation to the SHIFT Festival in March 2020 in Washington, DC. Maestro Demirjian explains what the festival is and also talks about what the symphony will perform while they are in Washington, DC. Jennifer outlines all of the various ways that the Symphony interacts with and improves our community.

In the opening night concert of its 84th season, the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra will take audience members on a journey from Earth to the outer reaches of our Solar System. Maestro Aram Demirjian explains that the voyage begins on Earth with Johann Strauss Jr.'s beloved "On the Beautiful Blue Danube".

You've probably heard of the television series "Mozart in the Jungle" but what about Mozart in the city? Mozart visited many cities throughout Europe, presenting and performing his own compositions while trying to make a living. Maestro Aram Demirjian explains how many of Mozart's symphonies were named after some of the cities that he visited, fell in love with and hoped to visit again. What better way to instill favor with a municipality than to dedicate a symphony to it? 

Aram Demirjian discusses the enduring popularity of one of the great works in classical music, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.  He also explains the inspired thinking behind the inclusion of Harrell’s Time Like an Everflowing Stream and Montgomery’s Banner.