Haig Utidjian

Vítám Vás na svých stránkách!

Thank you for your interest! This page is still under construction, and it may therefore be worth inspecting it from time to time for further developments.

First, there is a brief note, still under preparation, referring to my early academic background.

The primary object of this page, however, is to make available details of my career as a conductor. You may find herewith:

Also, as I had the good fortune of being the winner of the competition for the Bob Harding Bursary for Young Conductors in 1995-1996, shortly upon my graduation from the Advanced Conducting Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, I have included a page for those interested in knowing something about the Bursary and its objectives.

In the summer of 1998 I spent a period of two weeks in Prague, at the invitation of Jiri Belohlavek (until recently Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and  formerly Chief Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra), visiting the Music Faculty of the Prague Academy of Performing Arts and the National Theatre. I was invited to return for a more substantial period, which I did very gladly. I have since been fortunate enough to be offered a sufficient number of artistic challenges to warrant my staying on, and I am now delighted to enjoy a number of guest-conducting engagements  throughout Bohemia, whilst also serving as assistant conductor at the Opera of the Municipal Theatre of the North Bohemian metropolis of  Usti nad Labem.

My work at the Municipal Theatre in Usti nad Labem has hitherto entailed working on The Cunning Little Vixen, La Finta Giardiniera and Die Fledermaus, collaborating with the director Josef Novak,  and (most recently) working with the visiting singers of the Opera Company of the University of British Columbia, playing a crucial role in fostering a potentially long-term international collaboration of considerable importance to the Theatre. A particularly rewarding assignement has entailed training the Orchestra of the Municipal Theatre for performances at Prague's Estates Theatre (where Mozart himself conducted the premiere of Don Giovanni!). This has  led to the musicians themselves inviting me to head their own, self-governing chamber orchestra, the Komorni orchestr Collegium Musicum, of which I have now been elected Principal Conductor. I also enjoy conducting the Prague International Youth Orchestra, which brings together young Czech musicians with others from a variety of backgrounds, all united in the pursuit of the highest possible artistic standards in an informal and supportive atmosphere. In addition, I am still able informally to consult with Frantisek Vajnar and with Josef Kuchinka on Czech repertoire, and to study stylistic composition with Juraj Filas.

In the space of a few months I was delighted to gain fluency in Czech - a very euphonious language indeed - and wish to extend every encouragement to anyone endeavouring to learn it. Learning the language has both made things easier professionally (for instance, in rehearsing a miscellany of Czech orchestras, including the Prazska Komorni filharmonie, conducting stage rehearsals or attending other conductors' rehearsals) and more rewarding socially - not least in rendering possible friendships with people from a variety of walks of life with whom I would not have otherwise been able to communicate except by means of sign language! A page devoted to my Czech experience is in preparation, including recommendations on material for those studying the language.

A new addition is a page of three photographs taken whilst I was rehearsing Suk's lovely orchestral work, Pohadka, with the West Bohemian Symphony Orchestra, on 20 January 2000.

I have also included a list of a dozen or so recordings that I particularly enjoy; I am sometimes asked to make such suggestions by friends and disciples, so I hope this page will save time and effort in the long run! Likewise, should you be interested in my literary tastes, do feel free to explore my pages devoted to good books, where I have enumerated some volumes from which I have derived very great enjoyment; some particularly fine literary excerpts; a page of Armenian poetry in translation; and a page devoted to excerpts from the wonderful writings attributed to St. Dionysius the Areopagite.

Some years ago I had the good fortune of being admitted as a patient at St. Bartholomew's Hospital. The experience has served to leave me with a strong sense of gratitude, affection and loyalty for Bart's - that most ancient and benevolent of London institutions; subsequent to my recovery, I was fortunate in being able to organise a major charity concert to thank the Hospital. The programme notes I wrote for this occasion are available for perusal.

 A more formal, academic CV may also be perused.

On a lighter note, I include an amusing page, which I hope will serve to make the reader laugh aloud (!), as well as links to a number of sites which I particularly enjoy browsing from time to time, when I need to take a few minutes off from arduous toil of the day! I fear the page of links is in especially acute need of updating and reorganisation... when time finally permits!

Thanks again for your interest!