Steans Alumni Win Honors at Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow

Steans alumnus Narek Hakhnazarya took top honors in the cello division at the 14th Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow this past week, and fellow Steans alumna Jehye Lee took third place in the violin division. Both Hakhnazarya and Lee participated in the Ravinia Steans Music Institute in 2008 and 2009 and have gone on tour with other musicians from the institute. This year’s Tchaikovsky Competition consisted of four different categories with more than 120 young musicians competing.

Hakhnazaryan studied at the Moscow Conservatory and currently attends the New England Conservatory. He was the 2008 winner of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions. He previously played a Vuillaume cello ca. 1860, which was on loan to him from the Ravinia Festival.

Lee began playing the violin at age 7 and has been heard as soloist and chamber musician in Asia, Europe and the United States. She earned a master’s degree at New England Conservatory and a graduate diploma there as a pupil of Miriam Fried. She has won many awards, including first prize in Germany’s Leopold Mozart International Violin Competition in 2009.

Miriam Fried, Program Director, Piano and Strings Faculty said, “It’s always wonderful to see our alumni go on to success outside of Steans. Not that we needed affirmation, but we are delighted for them and we wish them all the best on the way. We’ll watch their careers with interest and pleasure.”

The Steans Music Institute is the Ravinia Festival's professional studies program for young musicians. Three programs comprise the institute's summer season: the program for jazz; and classical programs for piano and strings and for singers. In each of the programs, young artists study with an internationally renowned faculty of artist/teachers, participate in concerts given as part of Ravinia's summer programming and attend Ravinia concerts.