News Release| CSULA; Cal State L.A.; Los Angeles; Subito Award; Master of Music; composition

Note to editors and news directors: To request for a photo and/or interview with Varoujan Nalbandian, call the Public Affairs Office at Cal State L.A., (323) 343-3050.

Violinist awarded a $1,500 subito boost for piano, wind composition

Premiere of ‘Black Forest Lullaby’ by

CSULA grad student set for next year

Los Angeles, CA In a masterpiece composition for piano and wind ensemble, Cal State L.A.’s graduate student Varoujan Nalbandian presents what he calls “a mystical journey of a child, traveling by train through a forested landscape.”

Nalbandian’s piece, entitled “Black Forest Lullaby, recently earned him a $1,500 subito grant from the American Composers Forum.

A professional violinist, Nalbandian said he was encouraged to expand his artistic vision by composing a piece for other instruments.

The grant will support the return of renowned pianist Sarkis Baltaian, a former CSULA faculty member, to Los Angeles from Alabama to premiere Nalbandian’s work. The performance is planned for early next year. 

Nalbandian, who holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Cal State L.A., is working toward his Master of Music in composition and studying under award-winning composer John M. Kennedy, professor of music at Cal State L.A.

According to Kennedy, “Varoujan’s piece for piano and winds is an explosive work for an exciting media. This indeed is a huge dual accomplishment—having an artist of the caliber of Sarkis Baltaian premiere the work, and this professional recognition from the American Composers Forum.”

Nalbandian has performed professionally as a violinist in Romania since he was 11, before immigrating to the U.S. and moving to California. He is a graduate of Hollywood High School, and a resident of Echo Park in Los Angeles.

Performing at different venues locally while studying at Cal State L.A., Nalbandian has toured with various artists, such as Harout Pamboukchian, Jim Seal, Jerry Lee Lewis, and John Morris, throughout the Greater Los Angeles community. 

The subito quick-advancement granting program, with funding from the James Irvine Foundation, is designed to give an immediate financial boost to composers and performers of new music at a time when this help would have a significant career-enhancing effect. The program is administered by the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of American Composers Forum, in partnership with the American Composers Forum of Los Angeles.

Founded in 1973, the American Composers Forum is committed to supporting composers and developing new markets for their music. Through granting, commissioning, and performance programs, the Forum provides composers at all stages of their careers with valuable resources for professional and artistic development.

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