Koharik Gazarossian (1907-1967), of Armenian descend, was born in Constantinople (now Istanbul) and received there her first piano and composing lessons, her teachers were Edgar Manas and Rudolph Leibovitch. When she was not even 20 years old, she followed up on advice given to her and went to Paris in order to study composition and piano. She entered the Paris conservatoire and took lessons with Paul Dukas (composition), Jean Roger-Ducasse (composition), Paul Fauchet (harmony) and Lazare Lévy (piano). Koharik was very talented at learning languages quickly, she easily settled in Paris. In 1934 she gave her first piano recital in Paris, in the renowned Salle Pleyel. And she continued building up her career as pianist and composer, as far as it was possible with World War II coming up. She left Paris in 1939 for some years but returned after the war and continued commuting between Istanbul and Paris. In Istanbul she gathered artists, intellectuals and also religious authorities like the patriarch around herself – most of them Armenians like her.
The “24 Etudes for Piano” are highly personal, pianistically innovative and challenging piano pieces, showing traces of a mélange of Armenian melodies, musical Zeitgeist of the first half of the 20th century and harmonies from the border zone of tonality, while containing reminiscences of Scriabin, Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev.
Pianist Naré Karoyan grew up in Yerevan surrounded by contemporary art, dozens of vinyl records and an upright. Nare had the honor to work with unique personalities like Pascal Devoyon, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Peter Eicher, Anthony Spiri and Gérard Buquet.