School of Music > Faculty & Staff > Faculty A-Z > Marta Aznavoorian

Marta Aznavoorian

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  • Adjunct Lecturer | Chamber Music Coach
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  • Piano; Chamber Music; Performance
  • Interim faculty, Piano​​


Multi-Grammy nominated artist, Marta Aznavoorian, has performed to critical acclaim throughout the world as an orchestral soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and educator. A Chicago native, she has performed in her hometown's most prestigious venues and tours extensively throughout the world. Recognized by colleagues and listeners for the expressive energy and originality she brings to new and traditional classical music, Aznavoorian is a sought-after soloist and collaborator touring nationally and abroad. She made her professional debut at the age of 13, performing Mozart's Piano Concerto No 24 in C minor K.491 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Center (then Orchestra Hall) under invitation by Sir George Solti for four concerts of their series. She has won over audiences with her inspiring energy and vast musical reach, appearing as a soloist with orchestras internationally, including the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Sydney Conservatory Orchestra, Highland Park Strings, Chicago Symphony, New Philharmonic, San Angelo Symphony, San Diego Symphony, and the New World Symphony which resulted from a personal invitation from Michael Tilson Thomas who also was her conductor. 

Aznavoorian has worked with such renowned conductors such as the Late Sir George Solti, Michael Tilson Thomas, Lukas Foss, and Henry Mazer and has won numerous awards, including first prize at the Stravinsky in the Stravinsky International Competition, where she was also lauded the special prize for the best interpretation of the commissioned contemporary work. As a recipient of the 1990 Level 1 award in the National Foundation for the Arts Recognition and Talent Search, Ms. Aznavoorian became a Presidential Scholar. She was invited to the White House, where she met former President George W. Bush and performed as a soloist at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Ms. Aznavoorian is a founding member of the Lincoln Trio, which Fanfare Magazine has labeled as "one of the hottest young trios in the business." The Grammy-nominated trio tours regularly throughout the world and recently celebrated their Grammy nomination for Trios from our Homelands under the Cedille Records Label. Their latest disc was recently released in 2021, called "Trios from the City of Big Shoulders," consisting of 2 monumental Chicago composers, Leo Sowerby and Ernst Bacon. A follow-up cd titled "Chicago Now" featuring music of contemporary Chicago composers is to be released in 2022.   Also to be released under Cedille Records is her debut album with her sister and cellist, Ani Aznavoorian, titled "Veiled Mountain, Gems from Armenia," featuring Armenian music and a premier written for them by composer Peter Boyer and Vache Sharafyan. The Aznavoorian Duo toured their album and its release in 2022.  

In strong demand as a chamber musician, Ms. Aznavoorian has worked with many artists all over the world. She has frequented many festivals, including Tanglewood Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Marlboro Festival, Seattle Chamber Music Society, Caramoor Festival, Hornby Island, and Green Lake Festival. She made her 9th straight season appearance at the Ravinia Festival in 2021. 

A champion and lover of new music, Ms. Aznavoorian has worked with the world's leading composers, including William Bolcom, Osvaldo Golijov, Jennifer Higdon, Shulamit Ran, Augusta Read Thomas, Joan Tower, Lera Auerbach, Pierre Jalbert, Stacy Garrop, Laura Schewendinger, Shawn Okpebholo, Peter Boyer and continues to collaborate with several of the most innovative composers of our time.   In 2017 she was awarded the "Standing Ovation Alumni Legend Award" for her outstanding outreach, performance, and teaching mentoring to her hometown community in Chicago.  
A student of the renowned teacher Menahem Pressler,  Aznavoorian received her Bachelor's degree and Artist Diploma at Indiana University and her Master's Degree from New England Conservatory, where she studied with the late Patricia Zander. A passionate teacher and educator, Aznavoorian has taught and given masterclasses at Universities throughout the United States and abroad and is on faculty and recently appointed Artist in Residence at the Music Institute of Chicago and Piano and Chamber Music faculty at DePaul University School of Music and was recently awarded the Monsignor Kenneth J. Velo Endowed Distinguished Professorship. Aznavoorian records for Naxos, ARTEC label, Cedille Records, and has recently released Violin and Piano arrangements of the Music of Charlie Chaplin under the Warner Classics and Erato label with violinists Philippe Quint and Joshua Bell.

As a dedicated Educator and philanthropist, Aznavoorian has worked with many music programs to help create training pathways for students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds. Her new foundation, Keynote Productions, aims to help fund these students and help them achieve their full musical potential. 

Marta Aznavoorian is a Steinway Artist.