Somebody once said that the way Elgar chooses to open his Cello Concerto, with those tortured chords sounding as if they have to be excavated from the cello face, is as if Shakespeare had started Hamlet at “To be or not to be”
Since winning the Cello First Prize and Gold Medal at the XIV International Tchaikovsky Competition in 2011 at the age of 22, Narek Hakhnazaryan has performed with most major orchestras and in recital across the globe and has established himself internationally as one of the finest cellists of his generation. From 2014-2016 he joined the prestigious BBC New Generation Artists scheme during which time he made a hugely successful BBC Proms debut, with the Guardian commenting on his “technically impeccable and distinctively personal account” of Haydn’s First Concerto.
Narek had what few other cellists can boast: the power to stand up to such a wall of dark, overpowering Estonian sound… Even his grandly shaped lyrical phrases had the quality of mowing down anything in his way. His tone is as gorgeously sure as it is huge. Hakhnazaryan is clearly on his way to a big career.
— Los Angeles Times