Dzovig Markarian is a contemporary classical pianist, whose versatile career embraces two diverse yet complimentary fields, one in solo and collaborative piano performance, and the other in song specialization which includes vocal coaching and accompaniment, as well as musicological research and music editing-engraving of ethnographic and classical Armenian songs, both for print and online publications.
With performances described as “brilliant” (LA Times), and “deeply moving and spiritually uplifting” (Dilijan Blog), Dzovig is a frequent guest performer at leading contemporary music scenes, such as Dilijan Chamber Music Series, Hear Now Music Festival, Microfest, Jacaranda, Xtet, USC Contemporary Music Ensemble, CalArts Chamber Orchestras, New Millennium Brass Ensemble, and REDCAT Contemporary Music Festivals.
With a repertoire ranging from Jean-Philippe Rameau to Roger Reynolds, Markarian is often heard performing the complex music of Iannis Xenakis, Michael Finnissy, Milton Babbitt, Nikos Skalkottas, Arnold Schönberg, Elliott Carter, György Ligeti, Olivier Messiaen, and Tristan Murail.
As an advocate of contemporary music, Dzovig continues to contribute to the modern piano repertoire in a number of ways, including commissioning of new works, world and Los Angeles premieres and important collaborations with composers both nationwide and internationally, including Sofia Gubaidulina, Roger Reynolds, Chinary Ung, Tigran Mansurian, Artur Avanesov, Jeffrey Holmes, Liviu Marinescu, James Gardner, and Saad N. Haddad. Notable such events include coaching sessions with Sofia Gubaidulina on the occasion of REDCAT’s presentation of her works, which culminated to sold-out performances (2011), and coaching sessions with Roger Reynolds, which culminated to the performance of the Fantasy for Pianist for piano with extended techniques, as part of the composer’s eightieth birthday tribute concert at the Wild Beast at CalArts (2015).
Additionally, her commissioning of compositions for piano and electronics produced two important works, which received several performances to great acclaim: Displacement Activities for piano and electronics based on aleatoric devices and speaking parts, by New Zealand based composer James Gardner was awarded an Arts Quick Grant by Creative New Zealand (2014), and Shifting Sands for piano and electronics, based on Arabic maqams, by New York based composer Saad N. Haddad, won the ASCAP Morton Gould Award (2015) and was featured on the New Music Box website. Markarian premiered numerous other works for piano and electronics by Los Angeles composers such as Adam Borecki’s 110 Moments of Grandeur (2014), and Liviu Marinescu’s Shadows, which was recorded on Centaur records (2016).
Markarian’s dedication to help create and champion new works is balanced by the research and presentation of the rare and the obscure. As such, recently she was invited to UCLA for the performance of the complete solo piano and chamber works of Armenian composer Edward Pashinyan, as a musicology department project supported by the Ciro Zoppo Foundation Grant(2017), which also supported the recording of the composer’s solo piano set From The Simple to The Complex, for a new website dedicated to the composer’s works, articles and conference presentations. Similarly, at her recent debut with the Los Angeles series the Classical Underground (2017), Dzovig gave alongside tenor Timur Bekbosunov the West Coast Premiere of Sergei Slonimisky's Six Romances on Poems of Osip Mandelstam. Other noteworthy performances with acclaimed singers include Arnold Schoenberg’s monodrama Erwartung, op. 17 with soprano Micaela Tobin (2016) and Francis Poulenc’s monodrama La Voix Humaine with mezzo-soprano Audrey Babcock (2016).
In 2010, as community outreach, and with the help of a development grant from the University of Southern California, Markarian founded “Baricades Mistérieuses,” a series dedicated to programming solo and chamber music pieces mainly of Armenian and European composers. Since then, she has presented numerous premieres as well as lesser-known pieces, primarily by living composers. The highlight of this series has been the lecture-recital tours with themes such as ‘Bells’ in the French Piano Solo Repertoire: From Saint-Saëns to Murail (2013), The Miniatures in Piano Repertoire: From Alkan to Avanesov (2014), Piano Fantasies in d minor: From Bach and Mozart to Corigliano and Reynolds (2015).
Since 2013, Dr. Markarian is specializing in Armenian classical and ethnographic song repertoire, by researching, coordinating archival material, editing and engraving rare editions of classical art songs and choral songs by various composers, as well as un-edited a capella ethnographic songs collected by Armenian-Belgian musicologist Bedros H. Alahaidoyan, from Armenians displaced out of their home villages and towns throughout the twentieth century.
Projects that have come to fruition so far are the following: Mr. Alahaidoyan’s latest book Van-Vasbouragan Ethnological Typical Song Samples, Chirak Printing and Publishing, Los Angeles (2015), and Parsegh Ganatchian (1885-1967): Complete Works, 2nd Edition, Hamazkayin Cultural Association, Los Angeles (projected 2018).
Most recently, the Alahaidoyan-Markarian team began a collaboration with the Berlin-based website Houshamadyan, by offering a musical page, which will publish on an ongoing basis never-before heard popular songs, love songs, laments, and work songs, in Armenian, Turkish and various neighboring dialects, complete with musical scores and original sound files, all from the Alahaidoyan Song Collection.
Dzovig Markarian holds a DMA in Keyboard Studies from Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, and two degrees, MFA and BFA in Multi-Focus Keyboard, from Herb Alpert School of Music at the California Institute of the Arts, where she serves as Vocal Coach since 2016.